Ask almost any Arizona Coyotes fan on twitter, and they will tell you the most important part of free agency is signing the captain now. Between angry tweets to the team and to individual management partners, the voice of the fans is being heard. But you shouldn't worry about the contract, especially given Shane Doan said he wasn't on Saturday.
I understand that Coyotes nation is restless and has been for the last seven weeks because Doan has not been signed. Shane Doan is the heart of the team and the face of the franchise, everyone in Arizona knows that. Fans vented their frustration at the Coyotes Twitter and at Anthony LeBlanc on twitter recently. Venting your feelings on the internet will make you feel better but it will not help in the long run.
Many fans are voicing their opinion that Doan has been mistreated by the franchise and they are offended by that. In the changing of the guard within the Coyotes and a change in how the team is being put together has stalled the process.
Waiting to sign your captain could be seen as callous, but when you are trying to sign free agents, you need to have a bit of flexibility with cap space. Yes, even when you don't hit the cap floor until day one of Free Agency is done.
Shane Doan does not want to play anywhere else. He has been the face of the franchise for many years and he could have left in 2012 for a bigger contract somewhere else, but he stayed. Having an actual negotiation for a contract is not the end of era. Doan will come back, he will be paid appropriately and the Coyotes will go into the new season with a team that could get them back into a playoff picture.
Worth The Wait
In the end, this will all be worth the wait. The contract negotiation will be forgotten as soon as the preseason starts and the Coyotes take the ice for the new season. During the off-season there is not much going on and fan bases tend to latch onto the bad more than the good. Be excited about the Alex Goligoski and Jamie McGinn signings. Be excited for the Tucson Roadrunners and hockey in the desert.
Be excited that Scottsdale native Auston Matthews is representing Arizona hockey on the biggest NHL stage in North America in Toronto.
Don't latch onto a contract that will be worked out in the end. Yes, Doan was the leading goal scorer on the team last season. Oliver Ekman-Larsson was a close second, and Anthony Duclair in third. The Coyotes do have a scoring problem, but there is no guarantee that Doan will put up 28 goals again this season. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down, there will be a deal and he will be back. Coyotes fans are going to have to start the slow realization that Captain Coyote will have to retire in the future, and I admit that is hard to think about.
But until then, enjoy the off-season and look to the future, it's a bright one.