With Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signed, the attention of the hockey world is on Shane Doan. Doan, 35, is still unsigned but apparently wants to stay in Phoenix. He also wants a multi-year deal. The big question is, if he signs a multi-year deal with the Coyotes, will they still be in Phoenix after next season?
With all of the uncertainty of the Coyotes’ future in Phoenix, it’s looking more and more possible that Shane Doan will look elsewhere. If he does, the Canucks will likely be on his shortlist. Doan is from Western Canada and his wife is from Kamloops. He is a part owner of the Kamloops Blazers. If Doan is to change teams, he likely will want to join a team with a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
All of these signs point to the Canucks, as well as a few other teams. There’s no doubt that the Canucks will be interested in Doan, but they won’t be alone. It’s probable that all 30 teams in the National Hockey League are interested in Shane Doan. Lots of competition means a higher price tag, and the desperation of the Canucks will be tested.
I believe that the Canucks should show a very high level of desperation to land Shane Doan. He will probably command up to $5 million per season, and will probably want some term as well. I would give him three years, no more.
While giving a player $5 million a season at age 36, 37 and 38 seems crazy (and it is), I think it’s a prudent gamble for Vancouver. Doan is exactly what the Canucks need right now. He’s big (6’1″, 228 lbs), mean, and can score. He is also remarkably consistent and is a leader that has excelled personally in the playoffs (even though his teams haven’t).
Doan’s career best season came in 2008-09 when he put up 78 points. Over the last three seasons his numbers have dropped somewhat, putting up 55, 60 and 50 points respectively.
But with Shane Doan, his value goes beyond the numbers. His intangibles make him worth more. To the Canucks, who are in dire need of a player of his ilk, he’s worth even more. And to a team like the Canucks whose window of opportunity is closing more and more each year, his worth is that much greater.
If the Canucks sign Shane Doan to a three year deal worth $5 million each season, he will be worth the money in year one. In year two he may be a little overpaid and in year three he might be a lot overpaid. But even if his skill diminishes quickly, he is likely to be an effective third or fourth line grinder with leadership.
But the biggest reason of all why the Canucks need to make a big push for Shane Doan is because the Canucks need to win now. Daniel and Henrik Sedin will turn 32 this year. They don’t have many years left as elite players. They’re also entering the final year of Alex Burrows’ contract. In case you need reminding, Burrows has been the NHL’s best bargain for the last three seasons. Don’t expect the same kind of cheap deal this time around.
If signing Shane Doan to big money blows up in the Canucks’ face in three years, so be it. He is a great addition in 2012-13, and that has to be the number one priority.