Shane Doan chooses between Vancouver and Phoenix Friday; will this affect Roberto Luongo?

Last week, Shane Doan made a solemn vow that he would sign somewhere by midnight on September 15th, although his recent history of extended deadlines made us wonder if this was an empty threat.

Turns out it was. According to a recent report by John Gambadoro, a radio host on Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix, Doan has once again spurned his own deadline. But here’s the twist: the winger has actually moved it ahead for once. Gambadoro says that Doan will sign somewhere by 2pm on September 14th, because all contracts have to be signed by then.

What’s more, “somewhere” is one of only two places: Phoenix… or Vancouver. (Hey! that’s where we live!)

We’ve been real Debbie Downers about the Canucks’ chances thus far, but if Gambadoro’s report is to be believed, you sort of have to like them now. After all, Doan has said that he needs Greg Jamison’s deal with the city of Glendale to go through before he signs that four-year deal with the Coyotes, but what are the odds of that deal getting completed tomorrow? Heck, the last time someone successfully completed a deal to purchase the Coyotes was in 2005.

But don’t get too excited. (Like, you can get kind of excited. But don’t get excited to excess.) If Doan does join the Canucks, it could mean that the Canucks’ other ongoing saga likely won’t wrap up as neatly.

The addition of Doan is likely to hurt Mike Gillis’s attempts to get market value for Roberto Luongo.

A disgruntled and estranged Luongo made his return to the city of Vancouver Wednesday, as the Canucks were called home for the Jake Milford Invitational charity golf event. It was strange, as most — Luongo included — had already accepted that the netminder was moving on. His appearance in Surrey was a little like when you say goodbye to a friend and then discover you’re heading in the exact same direction. Awkward.

But there’s a reason Luongo is still around. Gillis has spent much of the summer refuting the assumption that the Canucks are dealing him from a position of need — a need to clear salary cap space. The GM has been insistent that there is no hurry, that the Canucks would happily open next season with both Luongo and Cory Schneider on the roster. After all, they still have about $2.5 million in cap space, according to Capgeek.

But they won’t if they sign Shane Doan. Even if Doan’s deal with Vancouver is less than the one he’s agreed to in Phoenix, the Canucks will still be in a situation where salary needs to be shed. It will be much harder for Mike Gillis to act like he’s only seeking a hockey trade if it’s clear the Canucks have to trim expenditures, and if that’s the case, he may have to accept a lesser price for Roberto Luongo.

My guess is that this has been a major factor in the Luongo situation dragging out over the summer. With the Canucks in the Doan sweepstakes, all suitors for Luongo have wisely decided to wait and see if Gillis manages to pry Phoenix’s captain out of Glendale, and in so doing, weakens his bargaining position for Luongo.

While any new contracts must be signed by 5 PM EST on Friday, players can be traded right up until a lockout officially begins. That leaves a small window of time for Mike Gillis to find a trading partner if he signs Doan. Otherwise, Luongo will officially be a Canuck until the lockout ends.

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6 comments

  1. Josh D.
    September 14, 2012

    Would that really be such a bad thing, though? As much as I want to get the best we can for Luongo, Doan would be such a nice player to have that I wouldn’t be too upset over getting prospects and picks back for Luongo

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    • Rituro
      September 14, 2012

      Agree with this. A Doan-level player plus prospects/picks is pretty much the return I’d expect on Luongo anyway, so I’m not bothered if it has to happen in separate moves.

      Of course, if Doan stays put and we keep Luongo, I won’t be bothered either. #LuongoSupporterToTheEnd

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  2. ArtemChubarov
    September 14, 2012

    I suppose signing Doan would give Gillis the “political cover” to deal Luongo for a lesser return. Kind of like how re-establishing a diplomatic relationship with China, allowed Nixon to lose the Vietnam war.

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    • Locky
      September 14, 2012

      +1 for a Richard Milhouse Nixon reference.

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  3. DB
    September 14, 2012

    Bury Raymond in the minors or trade him…would give enough cap flexibility to keep Lu while trying to get the best deal….Kelser going on IR will help with the cap as well.

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  4. Nee
    September 14, 2012

    T minus 3 hours guys. We’ll know soon.

    Part of me thinks Doan will just end up deciding “Screw it, I’m staying in the desert” even if the ownership question isn’t settled today.

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