It appears that Shane Doan is finally ready to think about life after the Phoenix Coyotes as the franchise continues to wage its battle for existence in Arizona.
The thirty-something captain of the Coyotes was waiting until this week to begin fielding offers elsewhere. He's considered a valuable commodity on the market given his leadership and an ability score 20-plus goals while playing with toughness at both ends of the ice.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, Doan isn't considering Boston as a potential landing spot, according to a source with knowledge of his situation.
Instead, Doan is looking to stay in the Western Conference to be close to his family. The San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks have been mentioned as possible landing spots for Doan.
The stalwart winger still has plenty left in the tank, and is seeking a four-to-five-year deal that should take him to the end of his career.
The Bruins have been interested in upgrading with a veteran forward this summer, but Peter Chiarelli hasn't found the right fit in free agency for that "Recchi-type." Veteran free agents this season largely haven't been interested in wearing Black and Gold. Both Ray Whitney and Doan would have been perfect fits for the Bruins, but Boston simply isn't geographically desirable for some players.
It appears increasingly likely that the Bruins will start the season with 21-year-old Jordan Caron penciled into the third line winger role with competition in training camp from Chris Bourque, Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner.
There's always still the chance Chiarelli and Co. pull off a deal for a veteran forward who wants to be in Boston rather than attempt to sell the city to players that are looking elsewhere for NHL jobs.
CHICAGO – Don Sweeney said the Bruins knew and expected they were going to lose one of three players in the NHL expansion draft, and it’s pretty clear it was going to be Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller or Colin Miller leaving the team. The B’s took Kevan Miller out of the equation by leaving him on the protection list after a strong season while also playing some of his best hockey in the playoffs.
That left McQuaid and Miller with each of the two D-men standing an equal chance of getting selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, and the 24-year-old puck-moving Miller going to Vegas for the time being. It remains to be seen if Miller sticks with the Golden Knights, or if there is an eventual plan to flip him elsewhere like perhaps an interested party in Toronto.
Sweeney said the Bruins didn’t want to lose a player with potential like Miller, but it’s also true that he would have been stuck behind younger, better D-men on the depth chart with Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo as better right-handed options.
“It was an interesting process to go through. It was hard at times because you felt like other teams were able to find deals to keep their team together while you felt vulnerable in that regard,” said Sweeney at the B’s team hotel in Chicago during a Thursday availability with the media. “You knew you were going to lose a good player. You knew they had targeted three players on our team that we felt they would target, and unfortunately we’re losing a good, young player.
“We thought highly of Colin. He was part of a big trade for us and we wish him well moving forward. We thank for him doing his part with the organization. We lost a good player.”
Clearly, the Bruins lost a defenseman with skills and youth on his side, but it’s also a young guy that hasn’t put it all together yet while never posting more than 16 points in each of his two seasons with the Black and Gold. Perhaps he will put together the offensive package at his next landing spot after showing flashes in Boston over the last two years, but that unknown factor while no longer being considered a prospect is the reason he didn’t find himself on the protected D list along with Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.
The Bruins released their schedule for the 2017-18 season Thursday, with their campaign beginning at TD Garden on Oct. 5 against the Predators.
Two things stand out in Boston’s schedule. Eleven of their final 15 games are on the road, and they don’t play the Canadiens until mid-January.
Then, when the B’s and Habs do finally meet, they play three times in an eight-day span. The rivals face each other Jan. 13 in Montreal, Jan. 17 in Boston and Jan. 20 in Montreal. The Bruins’ final regular-season meeting with the Habs is March 3.
To see the full schedule, click here.