Penguins Make Offer to Shane Doan—Is There a Fit?

Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Shelly Anderson confirmed that the Pittsburgh Penguins had extended an official contract offer to free agent forward Shane Doan, though the terms of the proposed deal were not disclosed.

With almost $10 million in available cap space and a nicely-defined hole on their top-line wing,  the Penguins have space both on the books and on the roster to acquire the 35-year-old winger's services.

A veteran of 1198 NHL games, Doan's 788 career points and 1071 PIM would be a welcome addition to the top line. Having lost Steve Sullivan to free agency and after the Jordan Staal trade, the Penguins' top-six forwards group becomes quite murky following Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, James Neal and Pascal Dupuis.

A top-line winger for Crosby has become the focal point of Pittsburgh's 2012 free agent class, and was something the team tried to address in making a "strong" offer to free agent forward Zach Parise earlier this month.

One of the sales pitches Penguins GM Ray Shero has been able to bank on for years is the opportunity to play regular minutes with one of his franchise centers. But would the lure of playing with Crosby and Malkin be enough to draw Doan to Pittsburgh?

Flanking one of the two-best centers in hockey wasn't enough to draw Zach Parise, who earlier this summer signed a 13-year contract with a Minnesota team which hasn't qualified for the postseason since 2007-08.

Now, reports have it that Doan has received a four-year offer worth more than $30 million—or somewhere in the neighborhood of a $7.5 million AAV—from a yet-unnamed Eastern Conference team.

The Pens' offer to Doan remains classified, but it's hard to imagine that a club which will soon have to re-sign Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury would match such an offer, both in terms of years and dollar amount, for a 35 year old who has never reached 80 points in a season.

Even the mammoth anonymous deal might not be enough to lure Doan out of the desert. For all their problems of ownership and attendance, Doan has been with the Phoenix/Winnipeg franchise for his entire career so far.

The ongoing battle over relocation and ownership, and the uncertainty it has created, is perhaps the only thing that has kept the veteran from re-signing with the Coyotes.

From Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Shane Doan's agent, Terry Bross: "We are still hoping this thing in Phoenix is going to work out."

It's impossible to know how likely it is that Doan will sign with the Penguins. Their offer to him remains classified, competitive offers from other teams appear to be out there and Doan's heart clearly remains in Phoenix, embattled as that franchise has become.

However, if he could be had for the right money, landing Doan would address a very obvious need in Pittsburgh.