Is Shane Doan worth a multi-year deal?July 13, 2012, by
While Shane Doan waits for the ownership situation in Glendale to fix itself, the rest of the NHL waits for him to make his decision. It’s quite fascinating how one player can keep the entire trade market at a stand-still, but that’s the kind of player Shane Doan is.
He’s a leader, a great locker room guy, and he happens to be pretty good at this hockey thing too. He’s a blue collar type of player, and is a two-way player who is capable of 25 goals and 60 points if he were to move to a more offensively talented team. It’s one of the reasons why the 35 (will be 36) year old winger is so coveted.
But that brings us to another question. The rumors are circulating that Doan will be seeking a multi-year deal, perhaps as long as four years. A four year deal will terminate after Doan’s age-39 season. While some have proven that you can be successful in your late 30s (see: Whitney, Ray; Jagr, Jaromir), it’s the exception to the rule.
Under the current CBA, any contract given to Doan that is greater than one year will result in a guaranteed cap hit for the life of the contract. It’s a significant risk for a 36 year old who just had his lowest offensive output since the 2001-2002 season. If Doan’s output continues to drop, then the team signing him will be paying for a top-six forward with bottom-six offensive output.
That said, on the Rangers Doan would have put him in the top-five in scoring, one point behind Derek Stepan’s 51 points. Doan has managed to put up at least 50 points on a fairly offensively-challenged Phoenix club. If people are using the argument that Rick Nash would need support, then can’t the same argument be used for Doan, especially if he will have Brad Richards as his center for the first few months of the season?
Is that worth what will likely be a $4.5 million cap hit (guaranteed) over the next three years, possibly four? The Rangers sure do have the cap space to take that kind of hit, but the big risk is that it becomes an albatross in years three and four. A major negotiating point will be the inclusion of that fourth year on the deal. Some teams will bite, and if Glen Sather believes the addition of Doan will make the Rangers a Cup contender, he will bite as well.