Since the 2001-02 season, Shane Doan has earned a little more than $49 million, but has Captain Coyote's price tag been worth it for an Arizona Coyotes team that has found itself in some serious financial difficulties?
Nobody can deny that in many ways Doan is the heart and soul of the Coyotes. As the last remaining original Winnipeg Jet in the NHL (barring Nikolai Khabibulin signing somewhere) and the athlete with the most time in the Phoenix area, Doaner is the name most connected to the Arizona hockey experience. He is without a doubt the face of the franchise.
However, if this off-season has proven anything, being a face doesn't always win you a contract. Take Paul Bissonnette for example. The man's Twitter account brings almost as much publicity to the team as any social media based ad campaign, but general manager Don Maloney didn't feel the need to re-sign him.
Since the 2001-2002 season, Doan has played in 909 games and has amassed a total of 686 points, an average of .755 points per game. During that same time, Doaner's salary amounted to $49.9 million or $72,740 per point.
Those numbers might seem pretty steep, but compare them to one of Doan's contemporaries, Jarome Iginla. During Iggy's time with the Calgary Flames, he played 1219 games for a total of 1095 points and was paid by Calgary approximately $75 million. He made around $68,000 per point.
Just like Doan, Iginla was the face of the Flames. When he left the city, just as many people were happy to see him make a run at the Cup as those who felt betrayed by his willingness to move. They made a similar amount (at least per point) but does that mean that Doaner is worth his weight in gold? Probably.
Why? Because of the intangibles. When you walk into Jobing.com Arena how many Shane Doan jerseys can be seen? And t-shirts? And bobble heads? And gnomes? Doaner has come to be Coyotes hockey, not just its face but what it is at its core. When Doan retires, there will not be a dry eye in that arena; he is to Coyotes fans what Teemu Selanne was to Anaheim, financially as much as emotionally.
As Selanne aged he started making different deals with the Ducks, adjusting his salary for their needs and allowing them to go hunting for talent. Doan's contract ends in two years and while he could try the market, don't be surprised if he takes a pay cut and gives Maloney and Dave Tippett a chance to have a little more financial flexibility to go after more of that top tier talent fans have been waiting for.