The Rangers top six (health allowing) looks a lot more intimidating these days, thanks to Rick Nash’s arrival. It’s amazing what one addition can do to change people’s perceptions. That said, the Rangers continue to be linked with Shane Doan and on the right deal he’d be another welcome upgrade but Doan is a mistake waiting to happen.
The arrival of a declining but still somewhat effective Doan on anything other than a short term deal is reckless spending that was the hallmark of the previous Glen Sather, before the Hall of Fame Sather re-appeared.
Assuming Doan leaves the Coyotes – still a big assumption – and rumours of his desire for four years are true, then buyers beware. Those demands stink of a desire for job security, of a pension plan rather than of a player yearning for a chance at an elusive Cup.
Those rumoured demands don’t appear to be the demands of a player whose priority is ambition/success. Of course, you cannot blame Doan for making such demands when numerous NHL general managers routinely throw crazy contracts at players; who wouldn’t want a piece of that action? However, Sather needs to let Vancouver or Pittsburgh (or whoever) be the team that gives Doan the crazy commitment. Why? Chris Kreider.
The Rangers don’t lack for character. Last time I checked, leadership wasn’t an issue either. The cap is in a healthy state and the depth is no longer an issue. Elite skill? Nash, Richards and Gaborik have that covered too. Taking Doan on the right terms is indeed a coup; anything else is this team’s management getting greedy. Doan on his apparent terms adds more risk to the franchise than it solves problems.
While numerous Rangers fans continue to set the bar unnecessarily high for Chris Kreider’s debut season the fact remains he is a much better solution than Shane Doan. Certainly better long term and potentially short term too.
Shane Doan scored 22 goals last year and Kreider could match that with the right ice time. If you believe some fans beliefs Kreider will saunter past that total. Ideally, you have both players for a season or two and Krieder has the best on-the-job-training possible in the form of Nash and Doan. Is there any better example for a burgeoning power forward to have internally?
The Rangers need to delicately balance ‘going for it this year’ with not hindering Kreider’s development and messing up a relatively healthy cap situation. If Sather cannot convince Doan to take less term then it needs to be Kreider and Nash as this team’s primary power forwards. Realistic expectations or not; that’s a fine combination to enter the season of Rick.