It finally looks as though the tug-o-war for the NHL’s resident super captain and all-around good guy, Shane Doan, is down to two finalists – Doan’s current team the Phoenix Coyotes and the Vancouver Canucks.
A decision is expected by 5 pm EST on Friday.
Doan and the Coyotes have come to terms on a contract in principle, but it won’t become official until potential buyer Greg Jamison has finalized a deal with the city of Glendale. Not so fast though. The sale hit a major snag when Glendale decided they wanted to make a few changes after both sides had already given the deal a green light.
Interim City Manager, Horatio Skeete, and Jamison continue to discuss possible changes to that deal and still expect a deal to be finalized possibly within the next week. A revised deal will likely include a change to the arena management fee paid to Jamison.
The delay is just another speed bump in what has amounted to a summer of speed bumps for Doan, the Coyotes and the league in general. This has opened up another possible out for the Coyotes most loyal player.
Doan led Phoenix to its first Pacific Division title and a trip to the Western Conference Finals and has made it clear that his first intention is and always has been to remain with the Coyotes. But, the veteran forward has put off re-signing with the team that drafted him until he was sure they would have a new owner and lease agreement with Glendale.
The Coyotes have operated under the control on the NHL since going bankrupt in 2009. You can see why Doan would have a wee bit of concern.
The latest hold-up may cause the Coyotes captain to fear that an agreement won’t be reached and Jamison might decide to walk away from the deal; in turn Doan would walk away from the only team he has ever played for. The 35-year-old is the clubs last remaining link to its former identity as the original Winnipeg Jets.
Doan wants to sign a new contract under the current labor agreement and with a lockout just hours away he is prepared to sign on the dotted line. But, could all the question marks in Phoenix force Doan to sign elsewhere? According to various reports, If it’s not Arizona, Doan will be headed back to Canada, this time to play for the Canucks.
A local Arizona radio station, 620 KTAR Phoenix, is reporting its down to the Coyotes and Canucks. This is music to the ears of Vancouver fans. Doan would be an excellent fit for the Cancucks. They are a club that seems on the verge of great things each and every season, but always seem to find a way to come up short.
And as I much as I hate to burst anybody’s bubble, this is going to be another one of the those “close but no cigar” moments for Vancouver.
Realistically, I can’t imagine Doan leaving the Coyotes. He loves playing in Phoenix. he loves the fans and they love him. I think he is already committed to returning for the upcoming season should there be one.
Whether its blind faith or loyalty that guides his hand, he will be back in a Coyotes sweater. Sorry Vancouver. Looks like another close call that won’t go your way. Oh well, there is always next year – right?
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