Friday, 27 July 2012

Shane Doan a Canadien?

According to a report from TSN, Shane Doan is seeking a four-year, $30M contract.  The report continues that the Canadiens are interested in his services, and that the right winger will visit Montréal next week.

So which is it?  In my estimation, only one of these propositions can be true, not both.  If he wants that massive contract, and it's not that outlandish a figure(!) since various reports have stated that a similar offer has already been made by an East Coast team, and if it's not just an opening bid that can be whittled down by healthy chunks, then there's no way the Canadiens would continue discussions.  I'm sure the Canadiens inquired what his ballpark intentions were, but as they did with Jaromir Jagr and P.A. Parenteau, they would quickly withdraw from the chase and not submit a contract offer if they found them too rich for their liking.  Right?

How can the Canadiens, struggling currently with albatross contracts on Scott Gomez and Tomas Kaberle, and having recently committed large chunks of their salary cap to middling to decent performers like Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec, and having rolled the dice on a strong recovery from All-Star Andrei Markov and having come up snake eyes for at least one year of the three-year deal, now turn around and throw another boatload of cash at a decent winger with good intangibles but on the downslope of his proud career at the age of 36?  

We remember the criticism Pierre Gauthier received for signing a 32 year old Erik Cole last summer, a player who had scored 26 goals the previous season and never exceeded 30, to a 4 year contract at $4.5 M a season, with a No Trade Clause on top.  Mr. Cole was aging and fragile it was said, and not likely to be worth this much money or term.  If it didn't make sense for him, it makes sense to offer the same deal, but at $3M more per season, to a 36 year old who has comparable production, but has only averaged 20 goals the past three seasons?

I concede that Mr. Doan is a bigger, stronger player than Mr. Cole, and that signing the latter was a spectacular success at least for the first year, but it's hard to see how importing a Right Wing who would soak up so much of the salary cap fits in with the team needs and the rebuilding program now in progress.  I could understand if there was a moderately priced pure Left Winger with size who can snipe goals available and he was signed to slot in next to Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta, that's a natural fit, but not Shane Doan, and not at that price and term.

We have to sign Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais to new contracts next summer, and there are no big contracts coming off the books until 2014.  We have young players slated for Hamilton next fall, and they'll profit from an apprenticeship in the AHL, but we'll rather quickly need to give them a roster spot in the NHL, and I don't see how having Shane Doan here on a potentially untradable over-35 contract fits in with this.

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