Get bigger, more physical. Check (see John Scott) Bring in players with a higher “compete” level. Check (see Roy for Ott Trade) Add a scoring forward. (In progress)
That is the offseason grocery list for Darcy Regier and the Buffalo Sabres as I see it. Now a quick look at the shelf to see who’s left, as far as the free agent market is concerned, its really only Shane Doan.
And what a player Doan is. Big, strong, gritty winger who can and will score for you. The type of player that will skate through the end boards to win you any one of the 82.
As such, the number of suitors for Doan’s services are reported to be in the teens, and reportedly there is a 4 year-30 million dollar contract offer on the table from a team in the East.
Wait. Rewind that. Think about it for one second. That’s 7.5 million dollars a season. According to Capgeek.com that’s equal to Steven Stamkos, Marian Gaborik and Dany Heatley.
Now you’d probably say that the grit, heart and desire of Shane Doan would justify spending that kind of money on a player that is a cut below great in terms of scoring and skill level. And I would agree, if I thought there was any chance he could sustain it.
At 35, Doan is well past the prime of his career, and you can’t expect him to score anywhere near the 73 points he scored three seasons ago, or even the 50 he scored last season. And while the drop off in production can be justified and even anticipated, the 7.5 million dollar per season price tag in an offseason preceding an impending collective bargaining agreement negotiation, is legitimately scary to me.
So once again, do or Doan’t? I say don’t.