One thing is certain, with each passing hour Shane Doan is less likely to remain with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Showing the patience of a saint and dedication that exceeds beyond loyalty, Doan has waited about as long as he can to sign a new contract with the only NHL franchise he’s ever known.
As we discussed on last weekend’s MayorsManor show with Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic, Doan has confirmed he will be signing a new contract before the league’s likely lockout on September 15th. Yes, his preference is to remain with the Coyotes. However, he’s also stated the only way he’ll do that is if the team has officially been taken over by new owner Greg Jamison.
It’s now Wednesday and several hurdles still remain for that to happen. Namely, Jamison doesn’t have an agreement finalized with the city of Glendale. Last night, interim City Manager Horatio Skeete proposed a $7 million reduction in the arena operations fee that would be paid to Jamison. That’s more than a 40% reduction from the $17 million payment the Glendale City Council approved earlier this summer.
Once that issue is resolved – and time is rapidly expiring – Jamison would still need approval from the NHL Board of Governors before taking over the team.
Seems like a lot to ask during a time when nearly all of the league’s resources are concentrated on the current labor dispute.
So with Saturday rapidly approaching, Doan’s return to the desert looks less likely.
If true, then what? Where is he headed?
Vancouver appears to be the lead dog. His wife has family ties to the area and that could be the trump card needed. Doan has laid out at least two other concerns as priorities to be considered. He wants a long-term deal, hoping this is the last contract of his career. And he wants to be with a team having a legitimate shot at a Stanley Cup.
Over the last few months he and his representatives have also met with a few clubs, including the San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers. Per our discussion with McLellan on Saturday, the Rangers are most likely Doan’s landing spot if he heads to the Eastern Conference.
Yet, because of his familiarity with the Western teams and their proximity to his ranch in Arizona, he’s believed to be leaning towards one of three teams – Vancouver, San Jose and LA.
It could be argued that the Sharks and Canucks are more desperate to add a jolt to their roster, while the Kings are coming off their first Stanley Cup. Yet, don’t rule out LA.
We’ve been following this story since early July when Dustin Penner told us – “If (Doan) was to join the Kings, I wouldn’t have a problem with it…It’s all business on the ice and once you get off the ice it’s different. I think you have to be able to put things into different compartments. You have to be able to differentiate between the two. On the ice, there aren’t any friends out there. Off the ice, it’s up to you who you befriend. So, I wouldn’t have a problem with him being an LA King. Sure, a lot of things happened during those games in the heat of the moment. But, you just have to brush them off as being part of the game.”
A few days later, Drew Doughty dropped by MayorsManor to talk about the subject and added – “It’s crazy to think about, given all the bad blood in the playoffs…(But), to possibly have him on our team would be great. He’s been a great player in the league for so long, he’s a leader on and off the ice, just a great guy to have in the room.”
His leadership skills were applauded last week when NHL.com named him one of the 10-best captains in league history.
Beyond what he brings off the ice though, it’s his consistent production that may be most appealing to GMs like Dean Lombardi.
Doan hasn’t played fewer than 72 games in a season in over a decade. More importantly, he’s good for at least 20 goals and 50 points every year. That extra offense could come in handy for a Kings team that’s often been starved for goals the last few seasons.
Thus, Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene were also supportive of the idea – with Stoll going as far as saying “I would love it if that happened. He would only make us a tougher team to play against, a heavier team to play against.”
One stumbling block for the Kings will be the length of the contract. If Doan is adamant on a four or five-year deal, that could spell the end of negotiations with the Kings. Less than a month away from his 36th birthday, father time will eventually catch up with the Alberta native.
That being said, a source confirmed to MayorsManor that Lombardi thinks highly enough of the power-forward that at one point earlier this summer, he asked team captain Dustin Brown for his opinion about adding Doan to the Kings line-up.
Will it happen?
Sand is slipping through the hourglass in Phoenix at an alarming rate. That’s for sure.
As hard as it to fathom, in about 72 hours Doan’s time in Phoenix could officially be over.