For two seasons in a row the Detroit Red Wings have played the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round of the NHL playoffs. While neither of those series were particularly memorable, one thing I do remember about them as a Red Wings fan is how impressed I was with Shane Doan.
He's always been a great player—strong on the puck, not afraid to be physical, excellent leadership and underrated offensive skill. He's been a premier power forward in the league for a decade.
Unfortunately for him, he's spent that decade playing in the desert for a team that has really not been relevant since the move from Winnipeg.
Doan is now coming to the end of his contract in Phoenix, and as an unrestricted free agent at season's end, he is likely to be playing his final year as a Coyote.
He has accomplished many things in his career. He is a Memorial Cup MVP, a two-time NHL All-Star and a two-time gold medalist at the World Championships. He is on his way to scoring at least 20 goals in 11 of the last 12 seasons.
Yet for all of his accomplishments, one glaring omission from his resume is a Stanley Cup ring. He has never really even come close.
With plenty of cap space, an abundance of quality prospects and injury issues at right wing, Detroit seems like an ideal landing spot for Doan.
The Wings would not only provide Doan with the best opportunity he's had at a Cup, they also have a current roster with enough talent that he would not be counted on to put the team on his back like he has in Phoenix.
The Wings would also benefit by gaining a versatile player who can move seamlessly between the second and third lines as needed. The thought of Doan's veteran presence playing on a line with Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader is enough to get me salivating.
Doan has been a good soldier in Phoenix. He's been through many disappointing seasons on a team that hasn't always made the greatest effort to be contenders and he's done so without causing a stir. He does have a no-trade clause in his contract, but given the opportunity to go to a club like Detroit that would give him a chance at the Stanley Cup that has eluded him for so long, I would think he'd be willing to waive it.
As the trade deadline approaches, moves will start happening fast, and I for one will be hoping to see Ken Holland bring Doan to Motown.
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