Shane Doan (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka said the team is closing in on locking up Shane Doan to a one-year deal. The 39-year-old scored 28 goals and 47 points last season, and Chayka said going forward the team and Doan will take a “year-to-year approach.”
Shane Doan is working on a one-year deal that will see him return to the Arizona Coyotes, and when you’ve spent two decades with one organization, hey, what’s one more season?
Coyotes GM John Chayka told KMVP-FM radio that the team is working on another contract with their 39-year-old captain and that he sees no reason to be concerned. Most interesting, though, is that it doesn’t appear that this will be the definite end to Doan’s career. In fact, it sounds as though the possibility is there for Doan to come back each season until he sees fit to hang it up.
"We've discussed both a multiyear deal and a one-year deal, but at this time, we're progressing toward a year-to-year approach which is respectful to both sides," Chayka told KMVP, via NHL.com. "The idea is after every year, he takes the chance to discuss it with his family. It's all positive, and it's just a matter of time before we get it done."
It’s not surprising Arizona would bring back Doan, the longest-tenured Coyote and a player who has shown incredible dedication to the franchise. But it’s not as if signing Doan is simply a move made out of loyalty. Doan had an impressive season in 2015-16, scoring 28 goals and 47 points in 72 games for the Coyotes, good enough to make him the club’s top goal scorer and third-highest point-getter this past campaign. Doan, who will turn 40 on Oct. 10, probably won’t be expected to repeat that performance next season but his presence amidst a youthful group of players who are only learning the ropes of the NHL can help the Coyotes moving forward.
However, as Doan’s career winds on, it’s likely his role will become slightly reduced, which could already be seen in his ice time last season. Doan went from averaging nearly 19 minutes per game in each of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons to 17:35 in 2015-16. He still maintained a big role in the Coyotes’ power play, however, and Doan had 12 goals with the extra man, tying him with Oliver Ekman-Larsson for the team lead.
With Doan coming back, the big question will be what he earns next season. It’s hard to see him carrying a cap hit above the $5.3 million he was worth this past season, and it feels more likely he ends up with a payday closer to his actual salary from 2015-16, $4.55 million.
The highest salary for a 35-plus contract player, which Doan will be, among the 12 deals for next season belongs to the potentially departing Pavel Datsyuk at $5.5 million. Jarome Iginla, Francois Beauchemin and Andrei Markov are all also on 35-plus deals that are all worth between $5 million and $4.25 million. The closest comparable for Doan, though, may be 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who signed a $4-million, bonus-laden deal in early May. Jagr outscored Doan, but the cap hit seems about right for the soon-to-be 40-year-old Coyotes captain.
Doan is the Coyotes’ all-time leader in games played, goals, points, power play goals and game-winning goals. He’s only four assists shy of becoming the franchise leader in assists, too. If Doan plays in 53 games next season, he will have played the fourth-most games of all-time with one team, 1,519, surpassing both Steve Yzerman and Ray Bourque. Only Alex Delvecchio, Nicklas Lidstrom and Gordie Howe suited up for more contests with one franchise, all spending the bulk of their careers with the Detroit Red Wings.