September 07 2012 11:26AM
Shane Doan laughing at those who think his return to Glendale is a foregone conclusion.
Yesterday the latest Shane Doan update rocked the world. Turns out that, get this, Shane Doan's preference is to stay in Phoenix so long as the under financed, long delayed and murky sale of the club to Greg Jamison goes through. Well paint me pink with a feather!
Read past the jump.
As Ryan Lambert recently pointed out, Greg Jamison's name has been floating around as a potential Coyotes buyer for, no joke, the past twelve months. His bid to own the Coyotes heated up in the late Spring, and throughout the course of this summer we've been treated to multiple reports about Jamison having secured funding and the sale being imminent, most recently from ESPN's Scott Burnside. Yet the sale still hasn't happened, and we still don't know the identity of the investors financing Jamison's bid.
Ultimately, the relevant question regarding Shane Doan's situation has never been "where would he prefer to play." After all, his actions over the past two months speak louder than his comments yesterday.
That Shane Doan is loyal to the Coyotes to a fault is beyond question. Not to sound like a memo from the Department of Reduncancy Department, but Doan's "preference" simply isn't relevant anymore. What matters is whether or not the Coyotes can get their ownership situation worked out on time. With 8 days to go before "Shane Doan: the Final Decision Day" no reasonable person should bet on it.
Update: Doan has apparently "signed" with the Coyotes (which matches what he said on the radio yesterday) to a deal worth 21.5 million over the next four seasons. The important subtext: "The deal is contingent on the finalization of the sale of the franchise to prospective buyer Greg Jamison by September 15." So yeah, nothing has changed.
When it comes to our views on hockey and our personal relationship, Cam Charron and I are as thick as thieves. But boy, oh boy has Cam lost the plot on Doan's "value" over the past week.
First, he used historical data to project Doan's offensive output and durability at the age of 36 and 37 and came to the following conclusion:
Doan would be an excellent third-line addition. He pushes play forward and is slightly above average at both ends of the ice. At the right price, he fills a gap in the Canucks' lineup.
Recent players who have met the projected standards are players like Cory Stillman, Mike Modano and Robert Lang, and adjusted for the 2013 salary cap, that equals to a little over $3.5 million.
With an expected salary cap rollback, his true value probably falls somewhere below $3 million.
In what universe would Doan play a third line role if he were to theoretically join the Canucks for next season? There's been talk about him skating with the twins, or maybe with Booth and Kesler. But on an Alain Vigneault third line? Looking over the data, I suspect that Doan could realisitcally handle extraordinarily tough minutes if asked to do so, but Doan is not likely to fall behind Higgins, Raymond and Hansen on the depth chart...
Moreover, "true value" and "what you have to pay in order to sign a hotly sought after UFA" are two distinct concepts. As we pointed out earlier this summer, there's no way the Canucks have any chance at winning the "Doan derby" if they're concerned with signing him to an "efficient" contract. That said, the Canucks aren't the Oakland A's: they're a big market club and their owner has never been reluctant to spend money on improving the club. They can afford to splurge on the right piece.
Is Doan the right piece? That's debatable, but he certainly fits the mold of the type of player the Canucks have looked to add over the past season, both through the draft and on the trade market.
Secondly, Cam piggybacked off of a Mike Gillis interview yesterday and concluded that the Canucks value Shane Doan at about 2.5 million dollars per season. To channel Seth and Amy: Really? Really?
How do you think Gillis, Aquilini and Gilman's dinner at the Italian Kitchen would've gone if the Canucks had offered Doan 7.5 million over three years? I think we can be pretty sure the Canucks don't even get in the door without offering at least 5 million per, and probably more than that.
Cam bases his assertion on this:
Pratt asks Gillis if he could fit Shane Doan under the cap without moving anybody. Gillis says “for the time being”, which assumes that the Canucks’ offer to Doan was likely less than $2.5M per season.
According to Capgeek, the Canucks have $2,431,667 in space.
First of all, until the CBA expires on September 15th, the Canucks can exceed the salary cap by 10%. That means the team could sign Doan for a deal carrying a 9 million dollar cap-hit, and they wouldn't have to imminently move anyone.
Further, unless I'm mistaken, Mike Gillis has not once in his tenure as General Manager publicly confirmed the amount of cap-space the Canucks have to add players. Historically Gillis obfuscates, and gives vague answers on this point when questioned about it. If you think about it, if Gillis was an open book regarding the club's cap situation, that would neuter the competitive advantage he enjoys by employing CBA ninja Laurence Gilman.
Point is, when Gillis says he could sign Doan without moving out a roster player, "for the time being" he's not being sly and he isn't implying that a contract with a $2,431,667 cap-hit is the maximum he'd offer Doan. He's just stating that if the club gets the opportunity to sign Shane Doan, they'll have the option to do so without having to first dump salary in a trade.
Crystal Free Balling
Are the Canucks front runners in the Doan derby? Nope, that would still be the penniless Coyotes.
Of course, the Glendale Paupers are only going to land Doan if they have an owner in place within the next eight days. Is that likely? I'm no expert but, as I often say, I think common sense can be instructive here. So let's consider the facts: the Jamison deal has been formally "in progress" for the last four months. It's a complicated sale that has been beset by legal complications, political issues, and a lack of financing all summer. If the club is going to retain their captain, they have eight days to complete the sale...
You really don't need to be Professor Trelawney to read those tea leaves.