Detroit Red Wings: Is Shane Doan Worth the Wait?

PJ SapienzaContributor IIIJuly 17, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 27:  Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes warms up before Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Nashville Predators during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Arena on April 27, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Shane Doan is one of the biggest free agent names left on the market. His case is different than most free agents though. He is not necessarily looking for the biggest contract that he can get and is not sure he even wants to leave his current team.

He wants to stay in Phoenix, with the franchise he has spent his entire career with. Ownership issues and the great unknown as to what city the team may play in from season to season have Doan considering other options.

While most free agents hit the open market flying Doan has been a reluctant participant. He has moved his decision date from July 9 to the 16 and now there is no timetable as to when he will make a decision.   

There are many teams interested in Doan, and it seems that each day the rumor mill is filled with teams that are interested in him or that he is interested in. By all accounts, the Red Wings are one of the few teams where the interest is mutual.

As teams wait out his decision, is the wait going to be worth it?

Doan is a gritty, physical forward. He has 318 goals and 470 assist in 1,198 games during his 16-season career. At 35 years old though, his stats are in the decline. After averaging over 28 goals a seasons from 2003-2008 he has dropped to a 20-goal average over the past three.

His shooting percentage has decline rapidly as well. After having an average shooting percentage of .121 over those five seasons he has dropped to .088 since 2009.

Another concern with Doan if he came to Detroit is his mindset. He has a family that has made the Phoenix area their home. Does he uproot them or leave them there? Either way those changes place extra stress on a player. Detroit watched Brad Stuart go through that this past season. 

Many players have faced this issue as they have changed teams over the years, but with Doan the weight of such a move seems heavier. One would assume he would be fully invested with whatever team he signs with; however, with so many years with one franchise how long will the transition take?

The Red Wings obviously have him ranked ahead of other free agents as they appear to be waiting on his decision before they move forward. If they wait too long, they might miss out on other players.

The problem is if Doan decides to resign with Phoenix or go elsewhere, who will be left. While it is true there is not a pile of high-caliber players out there, there are still players such as Alexander Semin, which the Red Wings might consider. Any wait could result in the pool of players drying up.

Doan can still be an asset to the team. The big question will be at what price. He will turn 36 as the season begins and is likely looking at his last big payday. He made $4.5 million last season.

In the end, Doan would be a better, slightly younger version of Todd Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi is has averaged only four less goals a season then Doan over the past three years. He also only makes just over $2 million. While Doan is the better all-around player at this point in their careers, he is not worth two-and-half-times Bertuzzi.

John Gambadoro of KTAR radio in Phoenix has reported that Doan has been offered a four-year deal for $30 million for an unnamed team. If true, that puts Doan into the do not touch category. The length of the contract and the amount per year will hamper the team long-term.

They will be looking to upgrade their defense and will need to keep money set aside for that. Their dream would be to win the Shea Weber sweepstakes next season. 

If Doan were to come at a discount level then he would be a good addition to the team; however, it appears that his asking price will be much too high. It's true $7.5 million for a 20-goal scorer is overpriced. Too many people are attracted to his star name, but his stats do not warrant that large of a contract.

At his point, unless the price drops drastically, the Red Wings should pass on Doan.


PJ Sapienza is a featured columnist covering the Detroit Red Wings as well as many other sports.

You can follow him on Twitter.

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