Shane Doan: Loyal Or Dumb?

22Feb07

The Calgary Sun had a story today about how Shane Doan is content with his new five-year deal even though he could have been traded to a contender and potentially signed a more lucrative offer somewhere else. Some rumors floating around had Doan going to the Flames to play on a line with Jarome Iginla and Daymond Langkow (his former Phoenix teammate). Doan’s take on the whole thing:

“It’s something that crossed my mind,” Doan said after yesterday’s practice. “I look at Langks and Jarome (Flames forwards and buddies Daymond Langkow and Jarome Iginla), how they’re doing and how much fun they’re having, or some other good friends like Brendan Morrison and Roberto Luongo and it was very tempting to see if I could go to one of those kind of teams.

“But, I feel I owe Phoenix a bit of loyalty. They’ve kept me here this long and made me their captain. As much as we’ve been losing, I’m on the ice for that and have to take responsibility too for that.”

“I want to see if I can win here.”

Doan cites the fast turnarounds from perrenniel losers like Calgary (and probably Carolina and Tampa Bay as well) into Cup contenders as part of the reason he believes in Phoenix. He also has a well-known fierce sense of loyalty, which is good in many avenues but it can also mean that he’s working with blinders on.

Doan points out that on paper, the Phoenix defense is one of the toughest in the league. And he’s right — when healthy, Ed Jovanovski, Derek Morris, Nick Boynton, Zbynek Michalek, and Keith Ballard are nothing to sneeze at, especially since Ballard and Michalek will only get better. However, they’ve given up the second-most goals in the Western Conference. Some of this is due to their rather atrocious goaltending (Curtis Joseph has been inconsistent, Mikael Tellqvist has a good record and played well but hasn’t played like a savior) while a big part of this is that the defense has been injured and not always had the best chemistry.

A big part of his decision stemmed from a meeting with GM Mike Barnett and Coyotes CEO Jeff Shumway during which he was given a blueprint for what they believe will amount to long-term success.

So Doan believes that the Coyotes roadmap to success is the right one. The problem is Mike Barnett’s made so many questionable roster moves over the past few seasons that it’s hard to really figure out what the team really wants to be. Since taking over in August 2001, here’s some of who Barnett signed as a free agent:

Brett Hull
Mike Ricci
Jeremy Roenick
Sean O’Donnell
Petr Nedved

He also traded Michael Handzus for Brian Boucher and Daniel Briere for Chris Gratton. Whoops. He was also the mastermind behind the big contract given to Brian “Mr. October” Savage. Double whoops.

The Coyotes don’t have much in the cupboard either; While Peter Mueller is very promising, David Lenevue isn’t going to be the goalie of the future, and most of Phoenix’s prospects are second-liners at best. In fact, Hockey’s Future only has Mueller in their top 50 prospect list and the team, despite a bevy of high draft picks from poor finishes, is in the bottom third of their organizational prospect list.

So, let’s see…the team can’t score, defense can’t mesh, and the goaltending hope is based on the guy the Maple Leafs didn’t want. And Doan thinks this is a plan for success?

Obviously, it’s impossible to tell what will happen in the future. If Michalek, Travis Roche, and Ballard mature, Jovanovski gets healthy, and Boynton/Morris actually play to their capabilities, then the defense really should be strong for years to come. Other than that, it’s a crapshoot. Ladislav Nagy‘s gone, Mike Comrie continuously underachieved before being traded, and Doan’s best help comes guys over 30. That’s not a good sign.

So, what’s this grand plan that Mike Barnett has? Trade Oleg Saprykin for Sidney Crosby and Owen Nolan for Alex Ovechkin? Perfect stem cell research and de-age Wayne Gretzky so he can play like he’s 26 again? Have Rick Tocchet put out hits on the opposing teams?

Who knows, but one thing’s for sure — Barnett must be a hell of a salesman if Doan was bought into his so-called master plan. Either that, or he’s just loyal to a fault.

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3 Responses to “Shane Doan: Loyal Or Dumb?”

  1. 1 Fauxrumors

    1) More sour grapes from a Canadian media outlet because an NHL star decided to stay in the states instead of his rightful place in the Great White North
    2) Having said that, Doan was WAYYYY over paid by Phoenix. For a guy who has NEVER won a playoff series, let alone a Cup, and doesn’t exactly put up Hart trophy numbers, Phoenix over paid for Doan, and its unlikely he would have recieved more over the summer

  2. 2 Rand

    Slot me in on the side that says there is no excessive loyalty being displayed here… just a simple acknowledgement that Phoenix gave him a deal that it was unlikely anyone else would match let alone exceed and almost certainly over a longer term that what he’s have got elsewhere and Doan happily accepted.

    For all of Doan’s vaunted intanigibles (Size, heart, physical presense, strong two-way game) he’s hardly a player to justify the contract he recieved.
    Doan isn’t now, nor has he ever been a superstar or franchise player. He isn’t about to carry Phoenix on his back to success.

    In a good season you can reasonably expect him to put up 25G and 65Pts or so, nice numbers especially with the fringe benefits of his game.
    Not the numbers of a guy that can carry a team however.
    It probably doesn’t help much that at 30 he’s probably closer to the downside of his career then a sudden career year… and being on pace for 51Pts this season doesn’t do much to boost my confidence in him.

    Very nice player that any team would love to have, but not at 4.5M for the next 5yrs.
    There are certainly worse contracts out there, but this one isn’t particularly good and it’s a far cry from from taking a significant discount for the hometown team out of loyalty.

  3. 3 Mike Chen

    I’m not necessarily saying Doan is actually worth 4.5 mil, but I do believe he’d get a better deal on the open market, just because GMs are stupid. Pavel Kubina got 5 mil on the open market and he certainly ain’t worth that.

    Consider this: Jason Arnott got 4.5 on the open market with points per game of .93, .78, .62, and .65 over the last four seasons. Doan had points per game of .8, .86, .71, and .6. Sure, Arnott’s got a Cup ring to his name, but Doan is two years younger — something that GMs have stupidily overpaid for in the past.

    Remember that “name” players, even the second tier ones, always seem to get a bump over the previous year’s crop just because of free agent stupidity. If Doan hit the open market, I bet some GM would be dumb enough to give him a contract of 5 per year. Not saying he’s worth it, just that history has shown us that GMs do stupid things on the first few days of free agency (hello Hal Gill).


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