As the Saints also ponder how best to ease salary-cap pressures next season, it has emerged that Lyon, now with Fremantle, could soon direct his attention towards his former club.

Saints midfielder Farren Ray, a West Australian, and full-back Zac Dawson remain out of contract.

The Dockers have regularly inquired about Ray through his management, and did so again recently. The speedy onballer/half-back has become an important cog in the Saints’ line-up since crossing from the Western Bulldogs after the 2008 season.

He has since played 71 matches at St Kilda for a career total of 146, including 21 this season.

Dawson has played 63 matches in three seasons since joining the Saints after Lyon resurrected his career. The former Hawk could be a good fit with changes imminent in the Dockers’ line-up.

Veteran defender Antoni Grover is coming to the end of his career, and former VFL defender Peter Faulks is struggling with injury.

Lyon is expected to transport his defence-oriented game plan to Fremantle and could help this transition by signing two players with intricate knowledge of its workings.

But the Saints remain keen to retain the pair, which they have indicated to their manager, Marty Pask. Discussions with Pask broke down mid-season and he was unavailable for comment last night.

Industry sources suggest Ray’s market value is about $350,000 a season, with Dawson’s $250,000 to $300,000. If both were offloaded, it would help the Saints ease their salary-cap squeeze.

There has been speculation that rebounding defender Sam Gilbert, one of St Kilda’s prime movers, could be moved on for monetary reasons, provided a suitable deal was found.

But his manager, Robert Joske, yesterday said Gilbert had no intention of leaving of the Saints.

Brendon Goddard, with a year remaining on his contract, remains a prime target for the Giants.

The Dockers yesterday appointed former Swans assistant Mark Stone as their stoppage coach.

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