As frustrating as it has been to watch for the last two months it appears that veteran Coyotes team Captain Shane Doan will finally, finally decide where he will be playing hockey in 2012 and beyond (assuming any hockey is to be played in 2012 of course). Doan’s agent, Terry Bross, indicated a decision would come before the September 15th expiration of the current CBA. For those Rangers fans hoping Doan would join the Blue Shirts in time for a 2012-2013 Stanley Cup run it’s time to give up on that pipe dream. And I’ll admit I’m actually glad Doan probably won’t be jumping ship to come to New York.
Of course Doan hasn’t made an official announcement but there is only one reason why he has waited this long to make up his mind; he desperately wishes to remain with the only NHL franchise he has ever played for and he will give Greg Jamison until the very last possible minute to secure ownership of the club before throwing in the proverbial towel on a return to the desert. It’s evident if reports of various lucrative offers being presented to Doan are true that money isn’t all that important to the veteran power forward. There is almost no chance even with new ownership that the Coyotes would make an offer in the neighborhood of four years, $30 million as Buffalo has reportedly done. If Doan wanted long-term security, big money and a chance to contend for a Cup he already would have signed with the Sabres, the Penguins, the Canucks, the Rangers or one of the many other clubs that have expressed interest in his services. No, Doan’s first, second and apparently third priorities all seem to be to find a way to come to an agreement with Phoenix on a new contract.
As far as my lack of disappointment at this turn of events, let’s think about this for a minute. I was a huge, huge proponent on many forums of bringing Doan to New York. I still think he’s an excellent player and believe he would fit on this club perfectly. However, he has demonstrated without a doubt he would rather be in Phoenix than anywhere else in the NHL. If he were to eventually leave the desert I’d seriously question his desire and commitment to his new club; at least initially. I have a hard time believing a player as dedicated as Doan is to his current club could simply flip a switch on his loyalties and be mentally prepared to give everything he has for a new employer right out of the gate.
Understand I’m not calling into question Doan’s professionalism. I’m simply stating how difficult it would be for Doan or any other player to invest so much of themselves in a community and for a franchise and then be forced to leave due to circumstances beyond his control. How could it be easy to then move on to another club and give that team everything he has; to sell out for a new group of teammates and to lay it all on the line for a new fan base?
Ranger fans know firsthand about players who ultimately leave a place they were happy for the lure of more cheddar. I vividly recall Matt Cullen signing a fat contract with the Blue Shirts only to soon regret ever leaving his previous employer in Carolina. Cullen ultimately was traded back to the Hurricanes just one year into his deal with the Rangers. After the trade was announced, Cullen said this.
“I’m really excited,” Cullen said. “It was one of those situations where I didn’t want to leave (Carolina) anyways.”
Considering the Rangers have a good thing going; a team that works hard and has an identity; a club that nearly made it to the Cup final just a year ago and is considered a strong contender to get there this season, is it really a good idea to add a veteran player like Doan who really doesn’t want to be here?
Isn’t there a possibility Doan’s unhappiness with having to leave Phoenix could carry over and affect not only his play on the ice but perhaps even impact the culture in the dressing room? This team was tight last year and that played a role in their success. Ranger fans and the organization deserve players who want to be here and who want to win in this city. Maybe Doan could shake off his disappointment and embrace his new surroundings but then again, maybe he wouldn’t. Why take the risk I say, especially when you have to take into account the eventual term and AAV of his contract.
A few weeks ago I was completely on board with the possibility of signing Shane Doan. Now after realizing how much he truly loves being a Phoenix Coyote, Doan to the Rangers doesn’t sound like a good idea anymore. I don’t want the Rangers to be any player’s second or third choice. It sure seemed Rick Nash’s first choice was to be a Ranger. That’s what I like to hear from a player joining the organization.
I don’t want players to come to New York only for a fat paycheck. The Blue Shirts have a good young core of players who want to be New York Rangers. Shane Doan does not want to be a New York Ranger more than anything else so I no longer want Shane Doan to be a New York Ranger.
Filed Under: Rangers
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