Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Rate Of Decay May Vary

I was watching an older episode of CSI today when it occurred to me that Shane Doan's contract might actually fall under a CSI-style experiment. Doan is no spring chicken at age 39 and has played 21 seasons with the Jets/Coyotes franchise already, and he'll return for at least one more season in the Arizona desert after signing a deal today for approximately $5 million after bonuses. As the leader in most of the franchise's statistics, Doan will return once more to add to those totals. However, his contributions to a very young NHL squad in the leadership department won't go unnoticed.

According to experiments done, "[t]he environment of southern Arizona with mild winters and hot, dry summers produces great variability in decay rates of human remains". Doan, it seems, isn't feeling those effects on his body just yet. He picked up 28 goals and 19 assists in 72 games last season, but the Coyotes missed the playoffs with a youth movement taking over. While Doan had opportunities to go elsewhere, it was this very youth infusion that lured Doan back.

"Those young guys, I can't say enough about how much they made me feel relevant," Doan told reporters. "With a young group, it's easy to be the old guy nagging, kind of pointing things out all the time, but our young guys were always respectful and eager to listen, want to listen. That makes it fun."

Being the captain of a lineup that appears to be getting progressively younger yet more skilled has to make Doan a little excited. When the captain and franchise leader is older than the general manager, however, that may be an NHL first. John Chayka, however, recognizes the importance of Doan to the team, and was more than happy to have his name back on a contract for the upcoming season.

"He's captain, our leader, someone who brings everyone to the next level," Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. "We're excited to reach an agreement with him and get him on a team we feel has a chance to be real good by the end of the season."

For me, he's the last piece of the Winnipeg Jets v1.0. Doan was drafted in 1995 and played his rookie season in the old Jets uniform, and he's the last remaining player in the NHL to have worn that uniform. While I'm fairly confident that the Coyotes won't be making the playoffs this season, the fact that a member of the original Jets still exists in the NHL gives me a little happiness.

Perhaps the Jets will invite Doan to the Heritage Classic game this fall? Seems only right.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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