In the time I’ve lived in Phoenix – almost three years to the day – the Phoenix Coyotes have been what’s technically known as a clusterfuck. They’ve been owned by the NHL, they’ve been rumoured to be relocating, and they’ve been on the wrong end of a lot of jokes, not to mention vitirol from some Canadians salivating at the prospect of bringing another NHL team north of the border.

Sure, the on-ice product has been better the past few years which has been a pleasant change from when I moved here and wrote this for the Arizona Republic (in short, attendance sucks cause the team always has), but it would be one gigantic leap by mankind to claim the Coyotes are Cup contenders next season. (Yes, I’m aware they made the Conference Final last season.)

So Shane Doan…what the hell is he thinking, waiting for this ownership situation to play out in Arizona?

The long-time Coyotes’ captain has proven his loyalty. From Winnipeg in 1995 to the upcoming 2012-2013 NHL season, he’s stuck with a team that has never been a particularly huge threat, at one point missing playoffs six consecutive years during his prime. He’s amassed nearly 1200 games and 800 points, he’s been through one franchise relocation, and still never seen the Stanley Cup Final.

He’s given all he has without getting much in return, aside from the undying love of the fans. That’s no small thing, of course, but there comes a time where you have to, as rappers say, do you.

Guys like Doan are excused from cries of traitor when they leave – take a look at Ray Bourque, a man I’m sure has no regrets about leaving his first and only team. A fresh start wouldn’t be guaranteed to play out like Bourque’s story, but Doan should at least give himself the best possible chance for it to happen.

Even recently, another loyal-to-a-fault guy, Steve Nash, said “to hell with this, I’m going to go play for the Suns’ most hated rival, the Los Angeles Lakers, because I think I’ve earned the right to give myself a legit chance at the Larry O’Brien Trophy.” And like Doan, he has.

It’s so bizarre to me that a guy as fiercely competitive as Doan wouldn’t be salivating at the thought of playing alongside some of the best players in the League after years of skating alongside second and third liners. I’m not trying to tear down the Coyotes current roster, just saying it’s been 16 seasons of playing with mediocrity for the majority of the time.

Today Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal wrote an article that explained the situation Doan is waiting to play out before signing anywhere: potential new owner Greg Jamison might not have enough money to buy the team. And if he can scrape together the funds, he’s going to need more money for operating costs, like say, keeping the ice frozen and people paid. Basically, if things go well, the guy is buying a car but can’t afford gas or insurance.

Isn’t he sick of playing for an owner like that? I could see Doan going to another team and thinking “Gol-lee, free sticks and everything!”

Shane, you’re a Canadian – go be loyal to the country and play in your backyard. You want a Cup shot, go to the defending champs. You want to play with the biggest superstar in the league, join Crosby in Pittsburgh. Whatever you choose, just go.

While I admire the loyalty, he has to see that he has a myriad of options he has that’ll all come without having to take a hometown discount, and do the right thing.

At this point, if he doesn’t choose a new team, I’ll stop feeling bad about the bum luck that’s resigned him to never winning a Cup. They’ll still love him here regardless, so if he really wants it that bad, he should ride off into the sunset like the cowboy he is.

Comments (27)

  1. There is no doubt loyalty played a big part of why Doan stayed in Phoenix for as long as he has. But looking forward to this next contract do we really know for a fact it is loyalty keeping him from making a decision in the last month Justin like you seem to be suggesting?

    He has a young family that was born and raised in Phoenix on his ranch. He might be perfectly happy to put his family first at this stage of career. Yes, he could sign somewhere else and keep the family in Phoenix but he seems like a well grounded family man. I am wild ass speculating he would much prefer to be with his family full time.

    • Pep, Well said. I agree 100%. He is established with school aged children and living a small country lifestyle. I can’t imagine him relocating his family to a big city like L.A. or Pittsburgh. How hard would that be on his kids? Wow! glad to see someone gets that. He is a hockey player, yes, who has provided well for his family. Why is it so hard for everyone to imagine that maybe winning a Stanley Cup is not the most important thing in life?

  2. I am a die hard Coyote fan and I agree with everything you just said. Doan, like Steve Nash, has earned the respect to leave now and try and win Lord Stanley with the best team he sees fit. I think we can all agree at this point in time that it is not the Phoenix Coyotes. Even though we had a great run last year to the western conference finals, the ownership issues create to much havoc for a team to thrive and succeed. Doan, you have all of our permission to leave and try and win every hockey players dream of hoisting the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup!

  3. I would LOL if he went to play for Winnipeg again.

  4. You give too much credit to Sunnucks. He doesn’t list any sources for his claim, a claim which he has had made previously. Hell his first sentence doesn’t even claim to have sources he could just be pulling it out of his ass like he does with almost every article about the Coyotes.

  5. I say keep the family here and go play for the kings.

    • With all due respect, I find it very hard to think that you have a family of your own. He has kids in school and lives a comfortable country lifestyle. Maybe winning a Cup is not the most important thing in his life. And if so, I applaud him on having his priorities set straight. I hope for him and his family that things work out in Phoenix.

  6. All the canadian teams would love to have Doan but the only Stanley cup contender is the Canucks so he probably gonna play in the state

    • Please tell me in what world Canucks fans think they are contenders? Do you not remember losing in the first round this playoffs? And what contributions has the off-season made? Little to no significance. As great as Doan is, and he’s my favourite player in the league by miles, I’d be disappointed to see him go to Vancouver. They don’t play his style of hockey, they’re soft goal scorers with no heart, which is why they can’t win a cup. If Doan wanted the guarenteed cup, he should go to someone like LA or NY, hard nosed hockey, the type of hockey all Canadian teams should play yet none of them do.

      • Are you saying NY plays hard-nosed hockey? Yeah, because they sure did a number on the NJD in NOT getting to the finals, past a goalie WAY past his prime. Any team Doan goes to becomes harder nosed immediately. If the Canucks had a Doan and/or an Arnott in their lineup, they’d have lots of grit. To say they have no heart, at least they’re not cheap shot artists like the past two cup winners have been.

        • Im sorry, but 2 years in a row the canucks have claimed the presidents trophy and 1 year making it to game 7 of the stanley cup finals. The Canucks aren’t contenders?

  7. With all the changes this year, the Canucks are no more likely to be a contender than they ever were. Or were they ever? I wouldn’t be surprised to see Edmonton with all their young, talented offense being a contender, or Winnipeg, or you never know, maybe even Ottawa. The only reason Doan would go to Vancouver is because his wife is from there, which seems to be the main reason anyone goes anywhere.

    • Are you serious Barb? The Canucks are not a contender but the defenseless Oilers might be? What changes are you referring to when you say ‘…with all the changes…? The only change so far is that Sami Salo is gone and has been replaced with Jason Garrison.

      I have to think you are trolling because I find it hard to believe anyone is that stupid.

    • No, never a real contender, because no real contender gets within 1 game of the championship and beats the league in the regular season in back to back years. They’re not really that good. Any evidence to the contrary is illusive and / or flukey.

      Seriously?

      The top 5-6 teams in the league are the “contenders”. Vancouver is inarguably one of those teams right now. Meanwhile Winnipeg (mediocre at every position), Ottawa (no D and suspect tending), and Edmonton (the worst team in the league over the past 8 years) are clearly not.

    • With only positive changes this year, the Canucks are even more likely to be a contender than they ever were. And were they ever! I wouldn’t be surprised to see Edmonton with all their young, talented offense still missing the playoffs, or Winnipeg, or you never know, maybe even Ottawa.”

      Fixed.

      • Why all the bickering? You people all know very well that almost every team can be a potential contender. You never know what’s going to happen. Lots of variables. In that conversation, it doesn’t matter who you happen to be a fan of. Anything can and does happen over the course of the year and in the playoffs of course. Can anyone truly say honestly that they knew that the Kings were going to win the Cup last year?

  8. You’re an uniformed idiot – pure and simple.

  9. Replace Shane Doan’s name with Jarome Iginla’s and reprint this in 5 months. I want to see that guy holding the cup over his head no matter what jersey he’s wearing.

  10. You can tell this article was written by somone who has been in phx only for 3 months. Keep believing everything you read in the phx bus journal…he sites no sources he doesnt even say….where the info came from. somone at the city, the team, jamision’s camp or the GWI. none of the above its an assumption hes made because jamison has not yet purchased the team. they have until monday to appeal the judges decision to the AZ supreme court. that would be the last hurdle. and where did the news come from that jamison wont be able to run the team??? Phx bus journal of course. Mike S again sites no sources and is just making assumptions.

    you are also writing like doan needs to win a cup NEXT SEASON. hes got a good 4 years left on his career and with elite player coming up like OEL and gormley…the rise of mike smith the return of michalek. The vet presence of Klesla you have one of the best d corps in the league and doesnt even include YANDLE. they have a soild 2-4 lines and only are a few key player from being a cup contender. had LAs season continued like it was going at the begining of the year they wouldnt have made the playoffs. its a very long season and anything can happen…after all an OWNERLESS were pacific division CHAMPS.

  11. Hmm….(scratches head) Where to start, OK let’s see, Doan will eventually sign somewhere else, because as many said he’s earned the right to win & he has been ultra loyal to the the Coyotes & the city of Phoenix. As much as I personally would like to see him with the Canucks, somehow I think Detroit or maybe Philly will plain outbid the Canucks and as most fans know, Mike Gillis really doesn’t like giving long-term deals to mid-30′s aged players. Would he make an exception for Doan? I would, but they don’t usually budge from where they think a players value is in terms of dollar amounts & other teams will empty the bank account. As far as the Canucks being or not being contenders, I think it’s pretty obvious that they are right up there, which is why adding Doan would be a huge bonus to go along with Garrison, who is a huge upgrade from Salo. Oilers will still miss the playoffs, Ottawa won’t do much either. Can Gagner even be traded right away after getting a 1-year deal through arbitration? A deal that, BTW, I think the mediator must have been a relative or something, because there’s no way Gagner is worth that much. Sorry fans, but the Coyotes over-achieved last year & they probably won’t win their division again. If my memory is right, didn’t they get in on the last day, or close to it,by jumping over LA who ended up 8th in the West? It’s going to be tough for them just to get in if Doan leaves.

  12. Phoenix isn’t that far off. If Boston and LA can win, the Yotes have a shot.

    • The same Kings team that beat the ‘yotes are coming back. With Doans leadership they still imploded. Once he leaves it will be a mess in Phoenix or where ever they end up.

  13. were they ever? pretty sure they were one game away from a stanley cup

  14. I think u are a dickhead talkin out ur ass shane doesnt have royalty so suck my left one

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