We're Talking About Shopping: The Forwards

PHILADELPHIA - FEBRUARY 22: Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes looks on against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 22 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Tonight marks Doan's 1,098th game with the franchise which ties him for the all-time games-played record. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Moving out from the blue line, we won't find the free agent pool any deeper at the forwards. The big fish is obviously Zach Parise, but we should all get off that dream right now. There have been rumors that Parise and Suter want to package themselves to a team, but only Minnesota and possibly Detroit (gulp) could afford that. Even if not true, it is unlikely the Hawks will splash the cash on a forward as pricey as Parise will be. Even though he would solve so much. What else is on offer?

You'll hear a push for Shane Doan. A year ago, I would have been all about this. But considering the weak free agent crop, if Doan decides to leave the desert, he's going to get seriously overpaid for a forward that really only gives you 20 goals per season. Maybe in a more up-tempo system he would score more, but the years could also catch up in a team that wants to play at a higher speed. Secondly, Doan showed a Blue-like stupid streak in the playoffs, and the Hawks already have Dan Carcillo for that. On the plus side, Doan would give the Hawks some size and snarl up front, which they are short on, as well as someone who can finish around the net on the power play and at even-strength. It would depend on the price and years, but it's at least worth considering.

What else? In the same vain as Shane Doan but without the stupid -- and probably less wheels -- the Hawks could give a one year flier to Ryan Smyth. He'd have to come cheap, but before you scream about a sequel to Andrew Brunette, keep in mind that Smyth did put in 19 goals for an Oilers team that wasn't exactly plodding. Still a weapon on the power play if nothing else. Olli Jokinen was shockingly effective last year in Calgary, but I still have too many memories of laughing at him.

There are actually some nice, 4th line options out there if the Hawks want to. Jay McClement will not be retained by Colorado and is an excellent penalty killer as well as a decent draw guy. Could even take some of Bolland's checking assignments on some nights. I've always liked Torrey Mitchell as an energy player, but he isn't really a center. Daniel Winnik or our old friend Adam Burish would not be the worst ideas for the bottom unit either.You'll hear some whispers about Jordin Tootoo as well. It doesn't make me puke as it once did, that's all I'll say.

For more help on the top six, Stan would have to get creative with a couple restricted free agents, or discover a package for Bobby Ryan that isn't immediately available to the naked eye. Evander Kane is the name you'll hear most, as he might want out of Dr. Freeze's lair. But still, prying a restricted free agent away can be tricky and detrimental. Ask Leafs fans how they feel about that whole Phil Kessel thing at the moment.

Use the thread here to discuss who you want.

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