NHL Free Agency: Shane Doan In Chicago?

After the NHLPA closed their meetings in Chicago on Wednesday, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews joked with the media that he “lobbied” for could-be-former Coyotes captain Shane Doan to sign with the Hawks when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

How would Doan fit on the Hawks?

The first issue that has to be addressed is the way the Blackhawks’ postseason ended this spring. After a dirty series in which accusations flew between the benches, most Hawks fans were left with a negative impression of Doan. The facts are out there: he’s been suspended for dirty hits on multiple occasions, and took his shots when they were available against the Hawks.

And his actions in line with the LA Kings after the Coyotes were eliminated were sad from a captain that, just a couple weeks later, would be honored at the NHL Awards for the respect he’s earned as a captain.

What we’ve established is that Doan has been a long-time captain who’s overwhelmingly competitive and plays with a chip on his shoulder. He’s a guy fans hate to see their team playing against.

Which is why he would be a solid addition for the Hawks.

Doan posted 50 points (22 goals, 28 assists) in 79 games last year while racking up 205 hits. He skated over 19 minutes per game, of which over three minutes per night came on the 29th-ranked Coyotes power play.

Since the 1999-2000 season, Doan has played in at least 76 games in 10 of 12 seasons (he played in 73 and 72 games in the other two). Over those 12 seasons, he’s finished under 50 points once (2001-02) and finished with fewer than 20 goals only once (2009-10).

He’s the model of consistency. He’s physical. And he’s usually on the ice.

Those are three things the Hawks desperately need among their top six forwards after last year, when they saw Toews miss the final 22 games of the regular season and then Marian Hossa get knocked out of the playoffs.

Doan is the type of player that keeps idiots from taking cheap shots on superstars. The difference between Doan and the guys asked to play that role that are currently in the Hawks organization – Dan Carcillo, Andrew Shaw, Jamal Mayers, Brandon Bollig – is that Doan is a legitimate top-six forward who can score as well as knock someone out.

So far, so good.

But there’s one major flaw with the idea of bringing Doan to Chicago: his position.

He isn’t a center, and probably isn’t going to move to the left side any time soon. Doan’s a right wing, just like Hossa and Patrick Kane.

Adding Doan would likely lock the Blackhawks into using Kane as the second line center for the duration of the 2012-13 season (which might be the plan anyway).

Is that necessarily a bad thing? Having a banger like Doan on Kane’s wing would likely open up the ice for Kane to skate in space. And he would certainly keep goons like his former teammates in the desert off Kane’s back (and head).

But Kane would need to get significantly better at the dot this summer. As long as Dave Bolland is the third line center and is winning between 46-48 percent of his faceoffs, the Hawks cannot have another center playing big minutes and losing more than half of his faceoffs.

There’s a place for Doan among the Hawks top six forwards. But fans would have to get comfortable with the ideas of Doan wearing a Hawks sweater and Kane at center full-time quickly.

He sure as hell can’t have #19. And he might not have an “A” on his sweater. But will Stan Bowman follow his captain’s lead and recruit Doan to come to Chicago? We’ll see this weekend.

39 thoughts on “NHL Free Agency: Shane Doan In Chicago?

  1. Do you get the sense that we’re to see Kane at center again? I do. I don’t know about permanently, but signing Doan would certainly put him there. And I agree 100% about Kane at the dot. If he can win 50% consistently I love him there, otherwise not so much.

  2. Sharp Toews Doan
    Frolik Kane Hossa
    Shaw Bolland Stalberg
    Bickel Kruger Carcillo

    I like it. Gives you room to give one top six wing position to whoever is performing. I’d like I see Frolik get a chance with Kane and Hossa, but if it’s not working there are other options – Stalberg, Sharp, Carcillo, an AHL kid

  3. So much for Wideman… Doan could be interesting, and could be a way of opening up Kane’s game. Yeah, worth a shot. So top lines would be Carcillo/Toews/Hossa and Sharp/Kane/Doan?

  4. Everyone hated Bob Probert too…until he put on the Indian head. Doan fills several big needs on this team. And even if he never wears an A, he brings leadership.

  5. Can’t say hawks fans were too happy about bringing Carcillo to town either. He’s a jackass, but now he’s our jackass. Doan’s pretty similar in how he’s regarded, but more talent and bit less jackass.

    Sharp will make a solid hit and few players use their bodies like Hossa, but none of the current top 6 are truly physical. Doan may be just what the Hawks need.

    I say bring him!

  6. If the Hawks want to acquire Doan then I feel Stalberg should be used as trade bait. And if Bolland is no longer on the block, the Hawks should keep the 3rd line intact because they seem to have good chemistry and are able to shut down other teams top lines. After all of this being said, I would still like to see what we can get for Hammer and go after Suter.

  7. Is it likely Phx is going to let this guy skate out of the desert, teams don’t usually let their captians go for nothing?

  8. If the rumours are true that Hjalmarsson will be traded for Zack Smith, I like the idea of picking up Doan and moving Kane to center (assuming he can get better at faceoffs).

    Sharp Toews Hossa
    Stalberg Kane Doan
    Shaw Bolland Mayers/Hayes
    Bickell Z.Smith Mayers/Hayes

    This keeps “Car Bomb” off the ice, which suits me just fine.

    Now we just need a defenseman or two. Ryan Suter, anyone? :)

  9. to those asking what the Hawks would give up to land Doan: he’s an unrestricted free agent. So they would have to give Phoenix NOTHING to sign him.

  10. Of course Doan would rock the I-Head. This guy goes to war for his linemates. As a fan, if you wouldn’t want him you’re not a hockey guy.

    Whether or not he fits depends on who makes the line calls. After the “air clearing” in the managemnt ranks this offseason, do we yet know if Q is in charge of this finally? If Q calls the lines then Krueger’s our #2 C and Doan is out. If Stan is still puffin his chest then Kane is the #2 C and Doan is still out. Why? Because Stan isn’t a hockey guy, he’s a suit, and he has too much of his reputation invested in Rusty and Frolik to give up on them yet.

    Don’t worry though Hawk fans, David Moss and Zack Smith are on their way to save the day.

  11. Great article Tab…its the exact situation the Hawks are in…Doan is a player that makes the Hawks harder to play against, and creates a lot of free space for our talented players, BUT he does not address the Defence issues and the need for another Centre that can win face-offs and kill penalties…

    If we could afford him and address the other areas, then YES…but to put Patrick Kane as our 2nd line Centre when Bolland is only winning 46% of his face-offs is disastrous for this team…

  12. I actually like it. And it is the ONLY way I could stomach Patrick Kane at center again. Toews likes the guy, so that says something. And it’s not like were talking about bring someone like Kevin Bieksa in. But, like was said earlier, Stan Bowman appears to be a suit, and I just have no feel for what he is doing. And, John MacDonough is just a marketer. Just uneasy about how this off-season will go in terms of trades and acquisitions. I guess I should join the club in that respect, huh?

  13. let’s dream…

    Hammer for Zach Smith
    Monty on LTIR

    Hawks have around 14 mill. and get Parise and Suter!!!! Or Doan and Suter!
    Stanley Cup back in Chicago

  14. Wall, as great as Doan and Suter would be, we still can’t have 2 centres taking up a huge amount of ice time, including special teams, winning only 45-46% of their face-offs, this is the main reason why our special teams have been so bad…you have to have possession to make teams pay, and you get possession by winning face-offs, or checking players off the puck, which this current lineup does neither well.

    So as great as Doan would be, if we are keeping Bolland, we MUST have a 2nd line centre who can win 52%+ face-offs…regardless of what his skill set might be…

  15. “The Calgary Flames have traded Jordan Henry and a 2013 5th round pick to the Washington Capitals for the rights to Dennis Wideman.

    The Flames immediately sign Wideman to a 5 year contract worth $26.25 million.”

    Stan Bowman had better have a good plan going into Sunday, because that was NOT a ransom to get his rights, and that is a “do able” amount of money…if Bowman passes or loses out on Suter, he had better have an excellent target lined up like Garrison.

  16. Memo to Brad: the pick & the player might not be a ransom, but that contract is laughably too long & high. I liked Wideman, but that contract is a joke. If Garrison’s getting $5M per, I pass on him as well.

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: not all activity is progress. Last year’s free agency left a lot to be desired, but Bowman afforded himself room to spend this year by limiting his losses on one year deals. Getting into a bidding war that ultimately ends with a player getting way too much money/too many years isn’t worth it for the Hawks. They’re not in a position to beg Brian Campbell & Cristobal Huet to come here any more; Calgary is. Edmonton is. Columbus hopes to be some day. Don’t throw a stupid contract at a player because a soft market is getting guys over paid.

  17. Defense wins championships. The offense is there with the exception of faceoff wins. Correct that and add Sutter and we are going to the cup.

  18. I would love to add him , but I feel a soriano effect coming here, i.e. sign to a big contract an aging veteran and when he gets here all of the time hes had off the injury bug takes effect here and=production goes down=fan hatred=boy o boy why did we sign this guy. id pass on him and get somebody younger,hungrier…

  19. Tab, thank you. Absolutely correct about contracts $$ and length. The Hawks overpaid for Montador (and could be stuck).

    “not all activity is progress” – true, true. The Hawks have 23(?) players signed. They are in a good position to add one or two key difference makers (Suter and a center?). Hopefully Bowman will be able to move a defenseman and a forward or two to make additional cap space.

    I think Kane is better at RW than C. Doan is a very good player – the kind you’d find a way to make him fit-in.

  20. Olli Jokinen maybe for 2C? vet who wants to win a cup and put up 60 points last year for a not so good team. Any body think this is possible? Or will he get overpaid by some team too. what would be a fair price? 3.5 for 3?

  21. I agree that Wideman APPEARS to be overpaid, but it costs money to play the game, and if you don’t ever play, and just dump, that is what your team becomes…a dump.

    Stan Bowman may have a great off season and he may not…thus far, he has only dumped salaries and got little proven in return…this MUST change this offseason…whatever it costs to add the 2 players that Dickie is talking about is WHAT WE HAVE TO SPEND…I have no problem paying good money to great players…I can’t stand spending good money on average or below average players…see Hammer and Montador…so if Suter is not available, I don’t mind paying Wideman what he is worth…as he is a great hockey player…Montador isn’t and hasn’t EVER BEEN…

    The jury is out on Bowman, and he had better not fail come tomorrow.

  22. Agree Tab, Wideman is now overpaid… but w/ salary cap up big time ( max. and Min.)
    many teams will overpay… it is what it is!

    the Hawks do have a strong, younger than average core….

    Brad is right Bowman needs to spend some cash… we can easily get rid of Hammer and Monty ( even if it is a Huet move), and have some serious cash to spend on some real talent to make this team a top 4 team for the next few years!!!!

    Ryan, E. Kane, Doan, Suter, Parise, even Semin, Jokin… bowman needs to add at least 1 of these plus!!!

  23. My only concern about Shane Doan is age. Will he expect/demand several years because it is most likely his last contract? He didn’t look old at all against the Hawks last season, but you never know — guys like Brunette and O’Donnell didn’t have much left after Bowman signed them (thankfully to one year only deals). I suspect Doan wouldn’t even consider a one year deal. Is 2 or 3 years “laughably too long”? Besides that, the Hawks have a lot of wings — it seems most people here believe they have a real (“dire”) need for a center.

    Personally, I hope they somehow sign Suter. They can work from there. It’s not like they have a terrible team – even if Sharp moves to center along with Toews, Bolland, and Mayers or whoever plays mostly on the 4th line. Keith-Seabrook-Suter-Leddy would be BIG! Add Oduya-Olson…can any team match those 1-to-6? (Maybe I’m dreaming? I hope Bowman makes good moves…and I know you all do, too.)

  24. I agree Dickie…signing Suter is key for this team…even if we put Sharpie as 2nd line Center, at least he wins 50+% of his face-offs…move Kruger to centre the 4th line…bring Saad up into the top 6…that’s a roster that can squeeze out a few more 2-1, 3-2 hockey games and be right there at the end of the season…

    Suter is key IMO…

  25. Brad – we’re on the same page (concerning Saad, too) — can Bowman make it happen?

  26. Rumor is Hawks are chasing Marty Brod…

    Bowman, one word- TURCO!!!!!!

    He is TOO OLD!!!!!


  28. Word tonight is that the Red Wings have won out on the Suter sweepstakes and that the Hawks were not in the running…I sure hope those folks over at TSN are wrong about that…

    They are also saying that the Red Wings have the inside edge for Parise as well.

    If Bowman thinks that this 31 year old DMan from the Ducks and 40 year old Marty Brodeur are the answer to our problems, then, wow, one of us needs to go…maybe its me…

  29. Brookbank will sit on the 3rd pair w/ Montador and/or Olsen all year. In that role, he’s a decent add. Reality is simple: Hjalmarsson’s days are numbered. Once Suter & Carle are off the board, a guy in his mid-20s w/ a ring making $3.5M per for two more years becomes a VERY attractive commodity. I’m willing to wait to see what Bowman can get for 4 before tearing him apart. Brookbank isn’t a game-changer, but he’s the kind of depth the team needed (more physical than O’Donnell or Lepisto).


  31. Tab, On the 3rd pair w/ Monty!!!!!!!!

    Monty SUCKS and probably was INJURED all of last year (before we signed him) and IS OVERPAID!!! (please see your last comment about Hawks don’t want to “overpay”)

    Monty skated like a kid who had his forehead on a whiffle bat and was spun around 30 times at half-time of a Bulls game!!!!

  32. He is a good addition Tab, no question, for the 3rd pairing (and Wall, it will be with Leddy)…but he is NOT enough, not near enough for this team to just try and make the playoffs…

    Word this morning is that the Hawks have a strong position with both Parisie and Suter…let’s hope Suter, at least, is a reality…

    If it is Parisie, then Kane’s days are numbered here…

  33. A) Leddy will be on the 2nd pair on Chicago’s blue line this year. As he was last year.
    B) Thinking this Blackhawks roster, if healthy, isn’t good enough to make the playoffs is laughably pessimistic.
    C) If Parise signs in Chicago it does not require Patrick Kane being moved.

  34. If Parise signs… doesn’t “require Kane trade”

    but it would be near impossible to get both… Suter/Parise

    I am w/ Brad… Hawks get Parise… Kane to Buffalo for Tyler Myers and ????

    If better options fail… wouldn’t mind Semin if price is right… I think he would be happy playing on high scoring team. Also, read he is 1 of 4 players to be +95 or better over last 4 years… I hear he can be a tool but then again he played w/ one ( #8).

  35. The Hawks, and the rest of the NHL, all witnessed the Kings win a Cup with 3 similar D pairings…one big, physical, stay at home guy, and one faster, jump in the play guy…

    You DON’T sign Oduya at $3.3 million (unless you are Stan Bowman) to slot on the 3rd pairing, and the only thing more laughable than your response Tab is the suggestion that the Hawks, thinking they are a contender, would enter into the season with a 2nd pairing of Leddy/Oduya…just how well do you think that little combo would fair come May/June??? Or for that matter, October…

    Leddy goes on the 3rd pairing with Brookbank, Oduya on the 2nd pairing with either Hammer or Seabrook, and the first pairing will be Suter/Keith, or Sebs/Keith…

    The signing of Brookbank means the Hawks don’t trust Olsen to improve fast enough, and may become the #7 DMan or go back to Rockford…Montador is gone, likely for a 7th round selection in 2020, and if any other DMan is signed, so will Hammer…

    The Western Conference is getting better and better, while the Hawks are spinning gears…and remember this, Kane is coming off his worst season as a Pro, and Hossa (up their in age and mileage) is trying to recover from a viscous head shot, so there is NO GUARANTEE he will even come back…and if Crawford doesn’t improve, you are staring at Ray Emery to hold down the forts…

    Sorry, but without 2 serious additions, this addition of the Hawks will be fighting for a playoff spot all season long…

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