Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Veteran Scorer Returns?

A little piece of news floated by my desk today, and it could be an excellent opportunity for the Winnipeg Jets to bring back one of their own while acquiring a decent scoring winger who can add some veteran leadership to the locker room. Shane Doan, currently of the Coyotes, has indicated that he will be testing the free agent waters come July 1, and this is exactly the kind of player that I think could help the Jets take the next step as they push for a playoff spot this season. And let's not forget that is one of three players from the original Jets team still playing in the NHL!

That fact aside, bringing in a player of Doan's calibre probably won't come cheap. Doan is a fantastic leader, a solid scoring winger, and an excellent person off the ice who gives his time freely to a number of charitable causes. He would be welcomed almost immediately by Winnipeg fans, in my opinion, due to his past history with the city and because of how he plays the game. He's a blue-collar kind of guy, something that Winnipeg fans love, and his style of play and work ethic would be a welcomed sigh on MTS Centre ice.

The keys for Doan, however, would money and location. I'm almost certain Doan should be playing as a second-line winger at worst, but that may impact the development of some of the Jets' youngsters. And with Doan having earned $4.5 million per season in his last contract, would he be willing to sign in Winnipeg for less? I'm not sure I'd be willing to jump from the warmth of Phoenix to a team that may not make the playoffs for less money just because it's Winnipeg.

His family is also a major piece of the puzzle as his family is from the Phoenix area. His kids were born there, and they'd have to be uprooted and moved to Winnipeg for the upcoming season if Doan were to sign long-term in Winnipeg. While moving isn't a huge hurdle for NHL families to overcome, it's always difficult for kids to move and start over.

However, the issue with the ownership of the Coyotes and the budgetary limits place upon the team seem to be weighing on Doan after 15 years in the desert.

"They have been unbelievably open and honest and great with me and I can't say enough about how good they've been," Doan told radio station Arizona Sports 620. "And yet their hands are so tied with the whole stumbling block that keeps popping up with the team, and that is frustrating. I'd love for it to be the whole time in Phoenix. I've made no bones about that. I've really enjoyed my time here and like it here and this is where my family is from and it's what we want to do.

"But at the same time, it's such a unique and difficult situation."

Selling Doan on Winnipeg may be difficult as well as there may be a number of suitors vying for Doan's services this season. Pittsburgh is in the market for a winger for Crosby, and Doan would be considerably cheaper than Zach Parise, but it remains to be seen if Doan is even on Pittsburgh's radar. Toronto message boards seem to think that Doan would be a great fit for the Leafs, but there is talk that Doan could be signed by Dallas if Brendan Morrow is truly available in a trade. The Rangers were kicking tires when it came to Keith Yandle, but reports suggest that there is also some interest in Doan as well for the right price.

Needless to say, Shane Doan is a warrior that any team would probably love to have. The nostalgia of Doan returning to Winnipeg is enticing, however, and I'm hoping that Kevin Cheveldayoff pitches him an offer just to see if there is interest from Doan in returning to Winnipeg. He'd be a welcomed addition to the young Jets squad, and he'd certainly be appreciated by Winnipeg fans if he were to return.

Who knows? If the Jets can sign Doan, maybe they can convince Teemu Selanne to come back to Winnipeg as well?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Thrash Metal Mike said...

Doan returning to Winnipeg would be great for the fans, and for the Jets too. While I love Andrew Ladd, Doan would probably make for a better captain and could lead the team more effectively

Unknown said...

Doan back would be huge. Now all the Jets need to do is get back Selanne and they are set. Hell get Hawerchuk to come out of retirment and go find Tkachuk at a doughnut shop and the old boys could all get back together.

mtjaws said...

As a Coyote fan, I hope Doan doesn't leave the desert. But the constant ownership questions would make anyone frustrated with things. It is bound to start costing them some players. It would be a nice story for him to return to Winnipeg, but since they are in the same division as Florida (for now), I don't want to see them improve. They can go for it when they move to the west!