Shane Doan, the 21-year NHL veteran and leader in virtually every major statistical category in Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes franchise history, announced his retirement yesterday.
Set to turn 41 in October, Doan announced that he would be moving on from the Coyotes earlier this summer when the organization parted ways with long-time head coach Dave Tippett. According to a report from Arizona Sports, the Edmonton Oilers were among the teams who showed interest in the veteran’s services in free agency.
It isn’t known if the Oilers offered Doan a contract — apparently Edmonton, Calgary, Dallas, the New York Rangers, and Nashville were interested in Doan and one team offered a contract — but the former seventh overall pick from the 1996 NHL draft and last standing member from the Winnipeg Jets 1.0 declined. He ultimately decided that moving his family in order to play a fourth line role wasn’t worth it.
If the Oilers did sign Doan it likely would have bumped a right winger, likely Anton Slepyshev or Iiro Pakarainen, off of the roster. Slepyshev probably would have been the guy considering he doesn’t have to go through waivers while Pakarainen does.
With that in mind, would signing Doan, who scored just six goals in 74 games on a putrid Coyotes squad last season, have been worthwhile? Obviously he would be brought in for depth and leadership in the dressing room and not offensive prowess, but it’s hard to say if bumping a player like Slepyshev, who likely has a role on the team in the future, for a veteran voice would really be worth it.
That brings us to Jarome Iginla, a player in a very similar situation to Doan.
Rumours are whirling around on Twitter and in the Oilogosphere that the Oilers are looking to bring Iginla, a surefire Hall of Famer and local product, in on a PTO contract for training camp.
Is there actually merit to this rumour? Probably not. But Iginla is a better player than Doan is in that same role, and the Oilers were apparently interested in acquiring him last season prior to the trade deadline. Iginla was ultimately dealt to the L.A. Kings where he scored six goals in 19 games on a team that fell short of the playoffs.
Like with Doan, Iginla would shove somebody off the roster in order to add a veteran presence. There’s an argument to be made that it would be a good move for the young players to have this kind of veteran — and, of course, it would burn Flames fans to see a franchise legend in Oilers colours — but there’s also an argument that players like Slepyshev and Jesse Puljujarvi need the opportunity.
That said, there’s never hard in bringing in a player like Iginla on a PTO. If he shows up to camp and beats out one of those aforementioned fringe players for a roster spot, then, well, that probably isn’t a good sign for them and their worth to the team anyway.