I’m going to start this by stating that I am a die-hard Rangers fan. They say us diehards bleed blue and that definitely includes me. But I also get attached to certain players and when Don Maloney became GM in Phoenix, it became a known fact that the Rangers and Coyotes would make at least one deal every year. That finally hit home when my then favorite player, Petr Prucha, got sent to Phoenix. I couldn’t give up the Rangers (although I actually tried due to the ridiculous emotional attachment I felt to Prucha) so decided to pick up the Coyotes as my “second team”. When people say you can’t have two favorite teams, I tell them I have one in each conference. Most don’t have a response to that.
So what was going on with the Coyotes in March of 2009? Well, for one that was the last season they didn’t make the playoffs. Don Maloney knew they wouldn’t be in at that trade deadline and made his mark as GM by trading a handful of guys for twice as many in return. In fact he made so many moves fans started calling the additions part of “team transplant”. Every night, no one knew what the line-up would be as the team had a bunch of extra players. It was another losing season in the desert and everyone – young or old, new to team or veteran – was vying for a spot in the lineup the following season.
And then there was Shane Doan. The Coyotes captain, who had been through so many of these seasons and so many of these changes, talking about how a win on the last night helped set the tone for next year. At that point I jumped on another bandwagon – I realized the greatness that was Shane Doan.
I can go on and on about everything Doan has done in this league and for the Coyotes, but this has been well documented numerous times. Sure there are people out there who now think he’s a dirty player because of his suspensions but I just can’t see him like that. Yes he has thrown a bad hit or two but so has half the league. That doesn’t make him a dirty player. And to anyone who thinks a suspension means a player is dirty, I ask your opinion of Carl Hagelin. Case closed.
No matter what your opinion of him, the one thing we can all agree on with Shane Doan is that he is Captain Coyote. Seeing him in another jersey would just be wrong.
At the start of the offseason, there was talk that if ownership issues weren’t resolved, he would sign elsewhere. I laughed and brushed it off.
As his agent created deadline after deadline, I still laughed and told everyone he wasn’t signing elsewhere.
Then news broke that he visited with Rangers brass last Friday and the Flyers on Saturday. Wait, what?
I still believe he is keeping all options open but now I’m not confident he will re-sign in Phoenix. In my mind, he deserves a Cup more than anyone in the league at the moment. What he’s gone through in his career…no one can deny he deserves it. But Phoenix has a chance to get it so the fact that he’s “keeping his options open”….
YOU CAN’T LEAVE PHOENIX, SHANE. YOU JUST CAN’T.
Look, I would love him on the Rangers. He is exactly the character guy the team is full of. I’m sure there are plenty of other fan bases that feel the same way. But he’s Captain Coyote. Can you picture Nicklas Lidstrom in a jersey that wasn’t the Red Wings? Or Daniel Alfredsson not in an Ottawa Senators jersey? I know these things happen but at this point in his career, it’s just wrong. Especially since the Coyotes are actually close to winning it all. (I know there are those who will say they over-achieved this year. Perhaps that is true. They still have made the playoffs three years in a row and gotten better each year.)
His most recent deadline was yesterday where he said he would decide if he needed to explore other options after talking with potential owner Greg Jamison. As of 7pm PST, he hadn’t spoken to Jamison which can’t be seen as good news for Coyotes fans.
The fact that he keeps pushing this deadline though, tells me he doesn’t want to leave any more than the fans want him to leave. Honestly, I don’t know what is going through his mind, especially with rumors of the ridiculous offers out there. But I know what is going through the minds of Coyotes fans. As long as the team has been in Phoenix, Shane Doan has been on the team. I don’t think they want to see him in another jersey. I know I don’t.
But at this point that option is there. And if the unthinkable does happen, there might be a lot of fans picking up a “second team”. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that…