Shane Doan is to hockey what John Connor is to leading the Resistance against Skynet's empire of robotic Terminators.
He's a hardass leader, with piss and vinegar pumping through his veins like an early 20th century Catholic School nun. Doan puts more effort in one shift than Alexander Semin's dedicated to cashing every paycheck he's ever "earned". On top of having one of the League's greatest work ethics, Shane is a two-way playing machine who corners an average of 50pts per season.
The 35 year old right-wing (soon to be 36 in October, 2012) is currently floating around the unrestricted free agency pool, being watched and pursued by every team (some more than others), and rightfully so. Shane's virtually been with the Phoenix Coyotes his entire NHL tenure (logging only his rookie season with the 1995-96 Winnipeg Jets), but has managed to stick out in a hockey market with about as much exposure as Jimmy Hoffa's grave site.
Doan is all heart and class. Even at an age traditionally harbored for players on the decline, he still has gas left in the tank to be an incredibly effective weapon on and off the ice in this hockey coalition. In fact, since 2009, Shane's number in hits has grown substantially with each passing season.
Old man? Yea, say it to his face.
Right now it's been reported that Shane is interested in re-signing with the 'Yotes above all other Clubs actively trying to land the Phoenix captain. The holdup would be the giant question-mark looming around the team ownership box at Jobing.com Arena.
Shane is waiting to hear the concrete financial plans that (hopefully to him) spell profitable and ambitious seasons for the Coyotes in the coming years. He may be a man of loyalty, but he's also a man with an intense sense of competitiveness. If Shane were to invest his final playing-years with the team he loves, he wants to be assured that they're doing everything in their power to remain competitive in this League -- in the standings, as well as financially.
That's an honorable way to approach it, I think.
But this hasn't stopped him from testing his options all around the hockey globe. Doan's been to Montreal, Pittsburgh, New York City, and Philadelphia, to name a few markets. And during his summer transits, his asking price hit the wire...
Four years, $30-Million.
This isn't breaking news. Chances are you've heard these figures already, so why am I just now writing about all of this?
I'm not sure, really. I guess with the Weber implosion a week removed, the realization that the Flyers would be giving up too much in any second-best defensive trade scenario, and the fact that the remaining talent in free agency is about as strong as Steve Urkel on the bench-press, now just seemed like the time to bring up Shane Doan as a possible Broad Street Soldier.
I'd argue for Doan all day, everyday. But under our pecuniary circumstances --and given his rumored asking price is indeed factual-- it is absolutely not worth it to the Flyers to continue pursuing him.
Could Philadelphia use Shane Doan? Now more than ever, yes.
Presently, the Flyers roster is so ingrained with youthful potential that it's necessary to employ a veteran of Doan's caliber. Leadership is key, and Doan's would no doubt aid in molding the work ethic of our talented juvenescence.
In one season, Jaromir Jagr took Claude Giroux under his wing (literally, and figuratively) and was the largest influence on G's career year. In ten years we could all be looking back at Giroux's Hall of Fame career and credit Jagr for being the launchpad of its bloomed success.
Shane would serve very similar roles, while also adding his offensive and defensive fury on the ice.
So why throw water on the fire of this Quest for Doan?
For starters, Shane's next contract will qualify him under the Plus-35 Rule of the CBA --
Players who sign multi-year contracts when they are age 35 or older (calculated on June 30 of the season the contract begins) count toward the cap under all circumstances, regardless of where (or if) the player is playing. The only cap relief is $100,000 from the player's cap hit if he is assigned to the minors after the first year of the contract.
CBA reference: Section 50.5 (d-i-B-5) (P. 203) ~ CapGeek.com
The Flyers have Chris Pronger and Andreas Lilja, both with 35-Plus contracts, and we just shed Laperriere's this offseason. Philadelphia doesn't need anymore of these commitments clinging to their books, especially when money WILL be needed throughout our upcoming free agency situations, and Plus-35 contract of this magnitude would be next to impossible to move if we needed to make fiscal room.
Next, Shane's contract would demand an annual average value of $7.5mm against our salary cap per season. That is astronomical for a 35+ year old forward, even for Shane Doan. And I don't need to tell you how our management flirts with the cap ceiling each year.
Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Andrej Meszaros all become free agents within the four year window of Doan's stay in Philly. Each of these players (barring dramatic declining change in their game between now and then) deserve extensions as Philadelphia Flyers.
A $7.5-Million blow against our salary would definitely hinder or eliminate the chances of re-signing a number of these skaters, even with the collective $12,833,33 we'd be saving in cap-dollars from Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen's contracts expiring.
Which leads me to my next and final point....
Danny Briere has three seasons remaining on his 8yr/$52-Million contract. By the time of its expiration, Briere will be 37 years old. At this point, he's already been one of our youthful stars' leaders through their entire career.....so why not offer him an extension which would (hopefully) cost the Flyers much less than a (by then) 39 year old Shane Doan?
So once again, this is a matter of the almighty dollar. Would I love to see Shane Doan in the Orange & Black? Without question. His tenacious carnality is what feeds Flyers fans. But from a practical standpoint, that asking price pushes me completely out of contention.
My gut tells me Doan won't re-ink in Arizona.
Unfortunately, I see the New York Rangers, their $11,691,666 in cap space and two open roster spots landing the beastly free agent. And after they hustled Columbus for Rick Nash, it's tough to believe that by September I may be hating two unbelievably great players I used to love.
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