Shane Doan Free Agency Update: Coyotes, Sharks, Red Wings, NHL

Shane Doan is waiting for Phoenix Coyotes ownership to play out before making his NHL free agency decision. The Sharks, Red Wings, and Pens are reportedly interested, among others.

Why would Shane Doan want to stay with the Phoenix Coyotes? He’s the captain of the team that fell to the eventual Stanley Cup champions, but the organization is in absolute shambles. His only other offensive weapon, Ray Whitney, has already signed a 4.5 million dollar deal with the Dallas Stars. The team is reportedly selling off defensive pieces, goaltender Mike Smith was once cut by the Tampa Bay Lightning and has only one successful season under his belt. The organization is in total overhaul. Shane Doan is arguably the most sought after free agent available. Why not leave? Nearly every team in the NHL is rumored to be in talks with Doan, who can name his team and price.

Perhaps Doan feels a sense of loyalty that other free agents don’t understand, like, say, former Devils captain Zach Parise. Maybe Doan loves his Arizona horse ranch, the desert weather in wintertime, and the relative anonymity that comes from playing for a franchise with so few fans. Maybe the idea of delivering a failing organization from bankruptcy tickles the venture capitalist within him. Either way, Doan staying in Phoenix makes no sense to the practical hockey player or his agent. The Coyotes are a sinking ship, gutting their employees and players, with no financial stability. Let’s assume Doan does the right thing and gets out.

Nearly every team in the NHL is interested in Shane Doan’s services. He is one of the most coveted forwards left without a team. Alexander Semin comes with a higher price and an array of personality issues, but Doan is the consummate professional. He’s an excellent leader, a clutch player, and as accountable as Semin is unaccountable. For a team looking to add a good locker room presence, some scoring, and some leadership for a relatively cheap price tag, Shane Doan is the man. Doan is drawing strong interest from any team who missed out on Zach Parise, doesn’t want to pay for a risky Alexander Semin, and would rather not trade away prospects for Bobby Ryan or Rick Nash.

The San Jose Sharks recently emerged as a potential suitor for Shane Doan. The Sharks have a plethora of veteran scorers on an elite offense and Doan would be a solid fit for their offense. San Jose is coming off a relatively disappointing season, but the addition of Doan in a weak conference should be enough to get them back atop the Pacific Division.

The Detroit Red Wings missed on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, leaving the team with many holes. They need offense, but most of all they need leadership. With Nicklas Lidstrom taking on a role with the team as a scout, a leader like Doan could fill the void he left.

The Pittsburgh Penguins also missed out on Zach Parise, and a veteran presence like Shane Doan would be a perfect fit for their explosive offense. The Avs were interested in Shane Doan as well, hoping he can develop their explosive young scorers and fill a leadership void. The Vancouver Canucks have also contacted Shane Doan. At this point, Doan would be a welcome fit for essentially any team in the NHL.

It’s hard to predict where Doan will end up. His conflicting emotions may rule out a division rival because he was so happy in Phoenix. If that’s the case, the Detroit Red Wings may be where Doan ends up. The free agency decision of Shane Doan is essentially a spin of the roulette wheel right now, so let’s bet red and see what happens. He could be a leader on a perennial contender with the longest active postseason streak in the NHL. After heartache in Phoenix, Detroit’s ravenous fans and consistent performance should be a welcome change.

Mark Donatiello
Follow me on Twitter:  @FasterHockey more


Follow Us