Shane Doan: 3 Reasons the Free Agent Will Regret Not Signing with N.Y. Rangers
Back on September 14, the summer-long saga of where free agent Shane Doan would sign finally concluded with the announcement of his four-year, $21.2 million contract to stay with the Phoenix Coyotes. The end result of Doan's hesitancy to sign anywhere else was a waiting game for Greg Jamison to finalize his deal to purchase the franchise.
It appears Doan chose loyalty and commitment to his family over the ridiculous money reportedly thrown his direction, which should be commended. Other athletes have chosen the latter countless times, only to see their careers wither away in obscurity, all while collecting a hefty-sized paycheck.
Playing devil's advocate, did Doan make the right decision staying in Phoenix? I say no, when you consider the teams in the running for his services.
Specifically for the Rangers, Doan could've joined a team on the rise, with a good mixture of youth and veterans, on their quest for glory while playing a supplementary role—not the lone wolf persona he's been playing his entire career in Phoenix.
Here are three reasons why Shane Doan made a mistake in not signing with New York.
Familiarity with the Coaches
Had Shane Doan decided to leave Phoenix and join the New York Rangers, he would've had some familiar faces to help him assimilate to the team.
Current bench boss John Tortorella, Rangers assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld and goalie coach Benoit Allaire all spent time in Phoenix with Doan during the late 1990s. Current Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan was a teammate of Doan's from 1998 through 2002.
Doan did visit a few teams during the summer to fully evaluate what teams he would consider going to. If Jamison's bid to buy the Coyotes fell through, one of them was the New York Rangers.
The (Reported) Money
One of the wackier elements to the Shane Doan free agency saga this summer was the money some teams were reportedly willing to offer for the Coyotes' captain. The looniest of all offers was a four-year, $30 million pact that came from the Buffalo Sabres, which sparked rampant speculation.
A $7.5 million cap hit for a player in the twilight of his career in the salary-cap era has "potentially devastating mistake" written all over it.
Several outlets had different numbers for the Blueshirts' offer. The Ottawa Sun reported New York was willing to go four years and $24 million. The Vancouver Province stated New York "would match" Buffalo's offer for Doan. The true numbers for what GM Glen Sather was willing to offer Doan have yet to surface and may never see the light of day.
Assuming the offer was one of the two aforementioned, Doan left approximately between $3 to $9 million on the table to stay in Phoenix. In his case, it was about comfort and unwavering loyalty for Doan—not the money.
Should it have been, though? If Phoenix fails to win a Cup in the next four years, would Doan have made a terrible oversight in staying home rather than pursuing a great opportunity at winning?
Great Chance at Winning
Looking at the New York Rangers from the outside, there's very little to complain about.
The Blueshirts boast a great, young defensive corps lead by Ryan McDonagh that was third overall in the NHL last season in team goals-against average. Dan Girardi and Marc Staal are no slouches, either.
During the offseason, New York brought in 28-year-old sniper Rick Nash to compliment the top six that already included Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan. Doan would've been a great addition to fortify the top two lines or, if he felt inclined, could've been the scoring option on a third line to give the Rangers incredible balance.
Don't forget the crop of talented young forwards New York has in Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin and rookie phenom Chris Kreider.
Any conversation of the Rangers winning any hardware starts and finishes with Henrik Lundqvist. Phoenix received a tremendous season from their No. 1 goalie Mike Smith. However, he's been inconsistent his whole career. Can he duplicate last season's excellence? It's a legitimate question, however one you don't need to ask about Lundqvist's performance in-net.
Perhaps Doan's biggest mistake in not leaving Phoenix would be the fact that, like Rick Nash, Doan could've been another piece to the puzzle in New York rather than the lead guy. Staying in Phoenix, Doan will still be the unquestioned leader yet the person fingers will point to if he can't lead his team to a Stanley Cup before his career ends.