Doan, Thornton and Bernier
Shane Doan is the most noteworthy free agent left, but he continues to wait on ownership news in Phoenix. (Getty Images)
Doan, Thornton and Bernier
As the Shane Doan free agency watch drags on, conflicting reports emerged over the weekend regarding a meeting scheduled last Friday between Doan and prospective Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison.
The Phoenix Business Journal reported Doan and Jamison met on Friday, but the details were unknown. Jamison is reportedly $20 million short in his bid to purchase the team and seeking new investors, though the report claimed the deal could still go through.
Doan's agent, Terry Bross, told a different story late Friday to TVA Sports' Louis-André Larivière, claiming not only wasn't there a meeting between his client and Jamison, but the latter never contacted Doan.
Bross went on to say he expected Doan to give him permission to discuss contracts with other clubs.
That wasn't the only conflicting report regarding the long-time Coyotes captain to appear in recent days.
On Friday, David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail cited a source who claimed Doan was seeking a four-year, $30 million contract from teams interested in his services.
Earlier this month, an unnamed Eastern Conference team had reportedly offered Doan a similar deal. Shoalts subsequently took to Twitter to report Bross said they’d never sought that kind of contract.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, meanwhile, claimed the Pittsburgh Penguins were prepared to table a four-year, $24 million offer to Doan.
That would be worth an average annual salary of $6 million, cheaper than the $7.5 million being offered by the mystery team, but still an expensive investment for a player turning 36 in October.
The only certainties so far are that Doan is still an unrestricted free agent, a number of teams are interested in him and his services will prove expensive if he finally decides to move on from the Coyotes.
RANGERS INTERESTED IN JUMBO JOE?
The New York Rangers’ acquisition of right winger Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets prompted the Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont to suggest the Rangers will make a real play for San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton.
Dupont cited the chemistry between Nash and Thornton when they played together in Switzerland during the 2004-05 lockout, as well as in international competition for Canada. He also suggested Thornton's lack of championship success in San Jose is a reason why it’s time for him to move on.
That's assuming Thornton wants out of San Jose. It doesn’t appear he does, nor does it appear Sharks management is keen to move him.
Besides, the Rangers already have a superb playmaking center in Brad Richards (who has a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe on his resume), plus they're also among the suitors for Doan, so they might not even have the cap room to add a player like Thornton.
BERNIER WANTS OUT, MARKET DICTATES OTHERWISE
Los Angeles Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier is hoping for a trade before training camp starts in September, but GM Dean Lombardi has other ideas.
Jon Rosen of Fox Sports West noted the lack of trade options currently available to Lombardi and suggested any move would be made based on the team's needs.
It's rumored the Toronto Maple Leafs had interest in Bernier, but according to TSN's Darren Dreger, Leafs GM Brian Burke claimed his club isn't even talking to the Kings.
TVA Sports' L.A. Larivière cited sources who claimed Lombardi and Bernier haven't spoken since the latter went public with his trade request.
Barring any change in the current market for goaltenders, Bernier should start next season with the Kings.
Rumor Roundup appears Monday-Friday only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News, Kukla's Korner and The Guardian, Charlottetown.