NHL Free Agency 2012: Should Shane Doan Re-Sign with the Phoenix Coyotes?

Eric McKelvieSenior Writer IJuly 8, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 15:  Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes awaits a face off in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 15, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Kings defeated the Coyotes 4-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Shane Doan has spent his entire career with the Phoenix Coyotes franchise, but on July 1, he became a free agent. Doan has yet to decide whether he will re-sign with the Coyotes or move on to another team.

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, Doan won’t make a decision until Monday, July 9. That is the day a petition is due that could delay the sale of the Coyotes to Greg Jamison.

For years Doan has been the face of the Coyotes franchise, and it would be great to see him retire as a member of the Coyotes. Unfortunately, that may not happen. Because of the current ownership situation, there is still no guarantee that the Coyotes will remain in Arizona in the coming years.

Instead of waiting and possibly ending up playing in a different city anyway, Doan's best option may be to sign on with another team now, to give himself a better shot at winning the Stanley Cup.

Doan has scored 318 goals and 470 assists for 788 points in 1,198 games and has been the captain of the Coyotes since the 2003-2004 NHL season. He has also represented Canada internationally at both the World Championships and the Olympics, serving as Canada's captain at the 2007 and 2008 World Championships.

Considering his body of work, it’s not surprising that a number of teams have shown interest in signing the veteran forward.

The Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly out of the Rick Nash sweepstakes for now and would be interested in signing Doan. The Hurricanes are looking stronger now than they did a month ago, especially with the addition of Jordan Staal. However, they may still be a year or two away from being serious contenders.

The New York Rangers have also shown interest in Doan. He would be a great addition to their offense, providing size to one of their top two lines. The Rangers were the No. 1 seed in the East in 2012 and could once again be Cup contenders in 2013.

The Detroit Red Wings missed out on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter and may look to add Doan, whose agent has reportedly already contacted the Red Wings. Detroit has made early exits from the postseason in each of the last three years, but the addition of Doan and a solid defenseman could help them make a deeper playoff push next year.

Fans of these three teams, or any NHL team for that matter, would be happy to see Doan sign on with their club. Doan would bring the same passion and energy for the game that he’s brought to the rink each of his last 16 seasons with the Coyotes franchise.

Besides, there is nothing better than seeing an NHL veteran finally win a Stanley Cup in the late stages of his career. While there is no guaranteeing Doan a championship, he may give himself a better shot by signing with another team.

Willie Mitchell was this year’s example, hoisting the Cup for the first time at age 35 with the Los Angeles Kings. In 2004 Dave Andreychuk won it all with the Tampa Bay Lightning, after 22 years in the NHL. And who can forget one of the great moments in NHL history—Joe Sakic passing the Stanley Cup to Ray Bourque after the Colorado Avalanche won in 2001.

Again, it would be great to see Doan back in a Coyotes uniform next year and for the rest of his career. However, that may not be in his best interest, especially if there continues to be issues with the sale of the team.

It’s sad that a player who has been so loyal to the team that drafted him has to deal with ownership and franchise uncertainty year after year.

Whether he stays with the Coyotes or moves on, Doan will be remembered as one of the great players in the history of the Jets/Coyotes franchise.