Even after making the biggest splash of the summer by signing Shea Weber to an offer sheet on Wednesday, the Flyers may not be done shopping just yet.
Shane Doan visited Philadelphia to meet with Flyers executives and get a peek at the city on Saturday, multiple sources have confirmed to the Daily News.
One league source said that while there is mutual interest between the Flyers and Doan, the visit was more about Doan “just checking his options.” He also spent 90 minutes with the Rangers on Friday, after spending time in New York for the NHLPA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.
Doan, 35, has spent his entire career with the Phoenix / Winnipeg franchise - the only original Coyote still playing in Phoenix. In fact, Doan, Nikolai Khabibulin and Teemu Selanne are the last active players from the final 1995-96 Jets team in Winnipeg. He has been the Coyotes’ captain since 2003.
That history is one reason why many believe Doan will remain in the desert, but not without first considering all of his options.
According to John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR radio in Phoenix, the Flyers and Rangers are the only two teams he has visited in the Eastern Conference. Part of that may be due to the proximity of the negotiations. Gambadoro reported last week that Doan has been sitting on a 4-year, $30 million offer from an unidentified team in the East.
The Penguins, Canadiens, Canucks, Red Wings, and many other teams have also reportedly expressed interest in Doan - who collected 50 points last season, but it was his lowest total since 2002.
The interesting thing is how the Flyers would make the money work for Doan, especially with a pending offer sheet for Weber.
A decision is due from Nashville before 11:59 p.m. on July 25.
As they currently stand, without Weber on the books, the Flyers have roughly $12.7 million in salary cap space.
How is that calculated? By adding Chris Pronger’s $4.91 million to the long-term injury list. It also includes both Bruno Gervais and Andreas Lilja on the roster, even though one of those players is likely to start the season in the minors. It also does not include restricted free agent Jake Voracek, who is due a raise from the $2.25 million he earned last season.
Bringing Weber to Philadelphia would push the Flyers’ cap space down to $4.9 million.
All of those numbers, too, are assuming that the league’s temporary cap ceiling of $70.2 million for next season will stay in place whenever the CBA negotiations are hashed out. That is a big assumption.
The Flyers are in a strong position to court Doan, though, because his decision to sign will likely come after Nashville decides whether or not to match Weber.
Even on July 1, when he officially became a free agent, Doan said that he would hold off until at least until July 9 before listening to offers while he hoped a referendum in the Glendale City Council would shed new light on the Coyotes’ ownership situation.
Greg Jamison has yet to be confirmed as the Coyotes’ new owner.
The Phoenix franchise has been under league control for the last three seasons, something Doan does not appear to be willing to play under again. Plus, it is unknown how much the league is willing to spend to keep Doan in Phoenix. They have never been in a position to sign a bigger name free agent.
It is unlikely that the ownership situation is resolved in between now and Wednesday night.
So, just as Doan is keeping his options open, so are the Flyers. If Weber is a Flyer, Doan is probably playing elsewhere as the Flyers would probably rather keep a blossoming Voracek. If Weber is back in Nashville, the Flyers could push some of those available funds toward Doan to try and bolster their lineup that is missing James van Riemsdyk and Jaromir Jagr.
In addition, the Flyers could use Doan as a replacement for one or two of their younger players, should they decide to dangle them in a trade with Nashville to try and coerce the Predators into not matching Weber's offer.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers