Don’t hold your breath – Shane Doan isn’t leaving Phoenix

A lot has been made about free agent Shane Doan this offseason, what with the Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation still being in shambles and Doan not wanting to commit to the Coyotes if the team is just going to up and move. But it’s time to get honest with ourselves about Shane Doan – he isn’t going anywhere.

At one point, as many as a dozen teams or more were interested in Doan, with a handful of serious contenders discussing the possibility of signing him. But time and time again Doan has states his desire to remain with the Coyotes first and foremost. He has set deadlines for the Coyotes to get their ownership situation in order before he started pursuing other offers and then readjusted those deadlines.

Then came the rumors that Doan was asking for ridiculous amounts of money that would place him in the upper echelon of players in terms of salary – and the crazier rumors that some teams were willing to pay it!

When it’s all said and done, all signs point to the fact that Doan does not want to leave Phoenix.

Doan has had numerous meetings with Greg Jamison, the potential buyer for the Coyotes. In short, it appears as if Doan is looking for answers from Jamison regarding the pending sale and how likely it is to go through. If it doesn’t, then Doan will leave Phoenix. Evidently in these meetings Jamison has given Doan enough to keep him from seriously considering other offers from around the league, or else Doan likely would have signed elsewhere by now.

News hit last month that Jamison was approximately $20 million short of the presumed $170 million asking price the league wants for the Coyotes, again placing Jamison’s ownership bid in doubt. However, news surfaced recently that Jamison now has investors and partners willing to back him in buying the franchise, putting him back into position to make the purchase. With a purchase agreement in place likely comes a new contract for Shane Doan.

A pending NHL lockout and a possible work stoppage also work in favor for the Coyotes. It means more time for the franchise to work out their ownership issues before Doan has to make a decision. If I hard deadline were looming with training camp just mere weeks away from beginning, Doan might be forced to make the tough choice between staying in the desert and moving on. However, with a lockout almost a certainty and a work stoppage a possibility, it allows Doan additional time to wait out the situation thanks to the soft deadline.

If Doan does leave Phoenix, the Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers appear to be the front-runners. Los Angeles and Nashville are in the mix to a lesser extent as well. Cap space becomes an issue, however, for many of these teams if they add Doan’s salary, and even more so if the league decided to lower the salary cap for next season under a new CBA agreement – which is likely to happen. Vancouver has slightly more than $2 million in available cap space, which means adding Doan, even if he agrees to, say, $4 million per season, would put them over the cap and in serious trouble if the cap lowers for next season.

With $9 million in cap space, the Penguins could afford Doan at a reasonable price, but it’s uncertain how much his contract would affect the team next season without knowing by how much or even if the cap will lower.

The Rangers could reasonably add Doan at $4 million a season with room to space, and they might be a more enticing destination now with Rick Nash in the fold as well.

But this remains purely speculation. Obviously any of these teams would love to have a player like Doan – a veteran leader who plays gritty hockey and consistently puts up 20 goals a season. Fans shouldn’t get their hopes up, however, because Doan will give Jamison and the Phoenix Coyotes every opportunity to complete a deal before he moves elsewhere.

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