Back in the middle of July, the Vancouver Canucks offered UFA Shane Doan a contract. So did almost every other team in the NHL, as well as a few AHL teams, the Bikini Hockey League, and a confused NBA franchise. I’m pretty sure it was the Charlotte Bobcats, but the rumours remain unconfirmed. Doan’s agent insisted to anyone who would listen that there was “mutual interest” in every single offer.
I didn’t buy it. Doan has played for the same franchise for 17 years. The only season he didn’t play in Phoenix was his rookie year in Winnipeg. He’s laid down roots in Phoenix and has no interest in leaving the city. The only reason he entertained the option was because of the ownership turmoil, which finally looks like it’s settling down (maybe) with Greg Jamison.
With that said, the ownership issues in Phoenix are far from ironed out and Doan indicated that he wouldn’t re-sign with the Coyotes until they were. That’s why the report that Doan’s decision was down to Phoenix and Vancouver got everyone all worked up. Even my steady confidence that Doan was absolutely staying in Phoenix started getting a little shaky. Would Doan jump ship and join the Canucks?
Nope. Turns out that Doan is just as loyal to his team as Burrows is to Vancouver, as he re-signed with the Coyotes for 4 years and $21.2 million.
While I believe that Doan would have been a great addition for the Canucks, it’s actually a bit of a relief that he didn’t sign, as he definitely would have created some complications. It would have made a Luongo trade more urgent, could have complicated re-signing Alex Edler, and could have proven a barrier to a young player like Zack Kassian making an impact. Having Doan on the team would likely have made those complications worth it, but it’s so much more convenient to take the easy way out.
4-years for a 36-year-old is also a sizeable risk, particularly for such a physical player like Doan.
The irony, of course, is that for all his loyalty to the city of Phoenix, Doan might end up playing in another city anyway. The Coyotes are still on shaky ground in Glendale and could end up moving before Doan’s 4-year contract ends. Seattle has taken another step toward building an NHL-ready arena, Kansas City already has one in place, and Quebec City is practically begging for the NHL to return. Doan may end up playing for just one franchise, but three different cities.
The question now is whether the Canucks will sign Jason Arnott. It was reported in August that the Canucks were in discussions with Arnott, with the rumour being that they would sign him if they didn’t sign Doan. Arnott would fill a need at third-line centre, with the ability to play on the second line in lieu of the recovering Ryan Kesler.
Doan Watch has now become Arnott Watch, although that will be all Canucks fans will be watching. He won’t be able to sign with the Canucks until the lockout ends. Now that we’re past 5 pm PST, no new contracts can be filed with the league, with the expectation that the NHL will be locking out the players on Saturday at midnight.Tags: Shane Doan