When it comes down to it, this summer has been nothing new for Vancouverites. If we’re being honest, we’ve been wishing for the Phoenix Coyotes to fail since they began.
Sure, a trip to Jobing.com Arena is a cheap date. We like that. But that’s about all we like about the “experiment”, as we condescendingly call it, in the desert.
The NHL’s Sun Belt expansion upsets us. It upsets us because the Canucks have never won a Stanley Cup and we want them to really badly. The very idea that apathetic southern American markets like Los Angeles, Phoenix, Carolina, and Tampa Bay could celebrate Stanley Cup wins — and many have — while we enter decade five of riotous desire is downright infuriating. And thus we root for their demise.
All of this is to say that the circumstances of this summer, which have Vancouverites cheering for Phoenix to bomb out of the desert, really haven’t changed much in our approach to that franchise. It’s just changed the reasoning.
Canucks fans want Shane Doan. Canucks’ management wants Shane Doan. “We’ve been in constant contact with him,” Mike Gillis told Elliott Pap. “He’s clearly a player we would like to have.”
But as the summer has rolled on, it’s become clear that Doan won’t lend Vancouver a jar of love unless Phoenix dies.
So die, Phoenix. Fade into your balmy midsummer night. Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight. Now die, die, die, die.
Yet, as summer gives way to the season of death, it’s becoming clear that the Canucks might not even need anymore for the Coyotes to die. Thanks to the impending September 15th lockout and Doan’s desire to have a contract before it takes place, all they really need is for Phoenix to remain in its ownership coma for 12 more days and Doan might have to go. From AZ Central:
The Coyotes are anticipating the addition of Doan’s contract, but without an owner in place by the expiration of the current CBA on Sept. 15, the Coyotes could expect Doan will pick a new team. Doan has decided to sign before a potential lockout to avoid the uncertainty of a new labor agreement, and he’s waited since becoming a free agent on July 1 in an attempt to give Jamison time to complete his bid.
“We hope to settle Doan,” [Coyotes coach Dave] Tippett said. “That would be the one big one, obviously.”
That’s right. The lockout is our friend.
Now, Doan has given and forgiven numerous deadlines this summer, so as airtight as this one seems, it’s possible that it’s as meaningless as all the others. But there’s one simple reason it would behoove him to treat it with a little more gravitas: he’ll likely lose a lot of money if he doesn’t.
Doan and agent Terry Bross have played this whole saga absolutely brilliantly. By taking calls from other suitors with a lovelorn sigh as they wait for their soulmate to awake in Phoenix, the pair have driven the price tag up exponentially. With a 4-year, $30 million offer on the table from the Buffalo Sabres and offers from the Canucks and a few other teams likely not far behind, the winger is going to get crazy paid if he goes elsewhere. Doan may want to stay in Phoenix with his life partner, but the insurance policy he’s taken out is astronomical.
The problem is the policy begins to depreciate after the 15th. The cap is rumoured to be on the way down, meaning the teams courting Doan might not have the space to court him as hard when the lockout ends.
And if the lockout lasts a full season, the idea of a 35-year-old Doan sitting out an entire year may sour some teams on his viability. But even his age doesn’t factor, the time to sit and wait may cause a few teams to come to their senses. Doan is not worth what he’s going to get paid if he signs this month, and a little time to think it over could cause a few teams to remember this.
The Coyotes may not be dead, but in less than two weeks, Shane Doan might have to pull the plug. If he does, the Canucks are very much alive.Tags: Canucks, deadlines, Shane Doan, the lockout is our friend