There has been only one city that 36-year-old Shane Doan has called home during his 16-year NHL career but now he’s patiently trying to decide what team he wants to play for next season.
Sure, he spent his rookie year in Winnipeg after he was drafted 7th overall by the Jets in 1995, but when the team relocated south to Phoenix the very next season, Doan went with the franchise and settled in for a career that would make him arguably the most famous player in Coyotes history. He was the team captain and the only player left who played on the original Jets – before the team was again awarded a team last spring – but that could be drawing to a close as free agency continues.
There has been plenty of interest in Doan, as some of the bigger names earned their money, with the two biggest teams being the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings. In his 1198 career games, Doan has scored 318 goals and 788 points, which doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but that’s because there is no stat that measures how much heart a player gives for their team.
According to Doan’s agent, who spoke with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Penguins officially offered a contract to the right winger and that his client has interest in joining the organization. Pittsburgh is certainly lacking at Doan’s position and could use his forechecking and backchecking skills. He finished last season with 50 points, which would just be the icing on the proverbial cake for a Penguins team that scored more goals than any other team in the league last season.
Late last week, the Detroit Free Press reported that the Red Wings had also made an offer to Doan. The Red Wings are among the oldest teams in the league – especially at the forward position – and would unwisely be adding another contract of a player in the twilight of his career. But the team has tried to make a splash all throughout free agency, losing out on the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter sweepstakes. Detroit could certainly use Doan’s forechecking – as it was a weak spot for the team last season – especially in the absence of Nik Lidstrom, who retired last month.
Don’t count Phoenix out of the mix, though. It might still be Doan’s top choice of where to sign, since he loves the organization and has been there his entire career. The only problem with the Coyotes is that the future of the team is in question as the ownership situation looks to become clearer. That could be the reason as to why he has yet to make a decision, perhaps in the hopes that the Coyotes situation gets figured out soon.
Time is ticking for Doan as the season – barring a potential lockout – draws near and we can only imagine that he will reach his decision within the next week and a half, if not longer.
Photo Credit: AP