One way or another, the Vancouver Canucks appear determined to add a skilled veteran presence to their core of forwards for 2012-13.
The most coveted free agent on the NHL market, Shane Doan, dined with the Canucks’ brass on Tuesday night, according to multiple reports.
Though his agent, Terry Bross, has been busy fielding calls from various teams and updating the media on Doan’s availability, the Phoenix Coyotes captain has maintained that his preference is to remain in Arizona.
In addition to the Canucks, Doan has visited with the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers this off-season.
A reported 16 teams have expressed interest in Doan. Six of them, including the Canucks, are said to have made formal offers. Last week, the Vancouver Province suggested that a team would have to commit to at least a four-year contract to land the 35-year-old.
As a possible Plan B to their bid for Doan, the Canucks have opened discussions with veteran centre Jason Arnott, reports the Vancouver Sun.
The 37-year-old Arnott is an unrestricted free agent who earned $2.5 million last season with the St. Louis Blues. He scored 17 goals and added 17 assists in 72 games.
Jason’s agent and brother, Wade Arnott, confirmed Wednesday to the Sun’s Brad Ziemer that the two sides have had talks regarding Arnott becoming the Canucks’ third-line centre.
“There seems to be some mutual interest,” Wade Arnott told the newspaper. “He played lower in the lineup (in St. Louis) and still produced at a pretty good rate.”
Arnott described the discussions as preliminary and said nothing is imminent.
In 1,244 NHL games, Arnott has 417 goals and 938 points. He famously scored the 2000 Stanley Cup-winning goal for the New Jersey Devils in double-overtime of Game 6.
Shane Doan is the guy the #Canucks really want, but they are also talking with Jason Arnott. See him as fit for 3rd line centre position.