GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 22: Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes moves the puck in the second period while taking on the Los Angeles Kings in Game Five of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
In the last day or two I've run into comments from hockey fans asking why Shane Doan won't just sign a 1 year deal with the Coyotes while the ownership mess continues to be sorted out? He has a number of reasons for not wanting to sign a one year contract. Such a deal wouldn't be in in his economic interests and based on his comments and those of his agent it wouldn't be in his personal interest either.
He's a 35 year old who has a shot at singing what will likely be his last big NHL contract. If he puts signing a multi-year deal off for another year he risks injury and the possibility of a poor statistical season impacting such a deal. Not to mention he'll be a year older. He's in the best position he'll likely be in for the rest of his career from a contract standpoint at this very moment.
The lack of ownership stability brings about a several concerns. Doan wants assurances the team will be in Phoenix for the duration of his contract and the team will have an ownership group who wants to field a team which can compete for a Cup. Without an ownership group in place and GWI still hanging around dangling the possibility of a gift clause related lawsuit, the team's situation remains tenuous. Limbo is not a state anyone likes being in, much less for three plus years. Doan rightly wants some certainty for the waning years of his career.
While I don't support Dan Bickley's contention last week that regardless of what happens Doan should just leave period, the Alberta native certainly has excellent reasons for testing the free agent waters, especially given the ownership drama in the Valley. While Doan's loyalty to the franchise has been admirable, fans can't expect his loyalty to be put above his own self-interest in this situation. Put yourself in his shoes. Would you sign a one year deal?