When the Phoenix Coyotes re-signed Shane Doan to a four-year, $21.2 million deal in the offseason, some bristled at the number of dollars that the franchise would pay to a forward who has never posted a season with more than 80 points and who has averaged less than 60 points a season over the past three years.
If you are looking at just numbers, Shane Doan's contract is interesting—it's a descending yearly contract in pay. The highest salary per year will be paid in 2012-13 ($6.05 million) and the lowest will be paid at the end of his contract in 2015-16 ($4.55 million).
If Phoenix is willing to pay Doan $6 million a year, now they're into an area that requires some return on their investment. Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim), Jeff Carter (Los Angeles) and Shawn Horcoff (Edmonton) are all players who were paid around $6 million a season last year. Getzlaf collected 57 points last season, while Carter and Horcoff amassed 34 points apiece. The Coyotes gambled that Doan could duplicate his average of 55 points a season over the last three seasons.
If so, they made a wise financial investment.
If not, the question is: what else does Doan bring to the franchise?
Doan brings tenacity, determination, ferocity and desire to the Coyotes. His leadership is unquestioned, his locker room presence presents stability and his off-ice persona is extremely valuable to the franchise out in the community. His value is completely underrated in this day and age, considering how many superstar athletes consistently get into trouble. This sets the wrong example for young players (and fans) to follow.
Doan's presence in Phoenix during the contract negotiations with the City of Glendale and potential owner Greg Jamison were a sign of the commitment that he has to this franchise. His desire to see that the team stays in the desert nudged him to re-sign with the Desert Dogs in the offseason. His down-to-earth personality and calm demeanor off the ice reassured people in Phoenix that all would be well with the Coyotes.
When he signed on for another four years, many understood that the team would stay in the desert for years to come. The Valley of the Sun took a collective sigh of relief, while Coyotes fans exhaled and went back to their normal lives.
Shane Doan is worth every penny to the fanbase of the Phoenix Coyotes. You would have to live in the Valley of the Sun—or be a Coyotes fan—to completely understand the importance of Doan to the franchise and the area due to the intangibles he brings to the table.