On the Rink With Gootz: The Other Domino Still Left to Fall

Hockey fans are always waiting for dominoes to fall during times of player movement, and this year has been no different. The two biggest dominoes that have fallen this off-season so far are Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, who both decided on moving their talents to Minnesota. Another domino that fans have been waiting to fall for a while is in the trade market with Columbus Blue Jacket Rick Nash. However, there is a another player that has only recently become very pronounced, with Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan. A few months ago, it was unthinkable that Doan would even consider leaving the franchise he has called home since the beginning of his career, but it is now a very real possibility. With the Phoenix Coyotes ownership saga still unsolved, Shane Doan is thinking of looking to go to places where the grass may be greener…or that even has grass.

While Coyotes fans would be very sad to see the man who has given so much to a city and a franchise, another group of fans in the NHL would be ecstatic to get this player. A man who has failed to score 20 goals in a season only once since 2000, Doan is the type of player who can fit in any system and one that fans will fall in love with quickly. The heart and soul he pours out on the ice through determination and his physical play make him a force to be reckoned with.

If Sheriff Shane does decide he is packing up and moving elsewhere in the pursuit of success, he will want to go to a team that is ready to win a championship now. It is believed that he will want to stay in the Western Conference, but Shane will go where he thinks he will fit in and be able to have a shot at winning it all. My money is on Detroit, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York Rangers, and Pittsburgh to nab him if he says farewell to his desert home.

The Coyotes will remain the front-runner for the power forward until the very last moment. Doan has an incredible sense of loyalty to the franchise that has given so much to him and that he has given back to. But sometimes things outside of your control force you to make difficult decisions and this will surely be a difficult one for Doan. As great as it would be to see Doan have a Ray Bourque type of ending to his career, it would be even better to see him stay home and finish his career where he belongs. Why? Loyalty to a franchise is so rare in sports now that it is the exception rather than the norm as it used to be. If he does leave, the effect on the Coyotes both on and off the ice will be felt significantly in that area. He is the heart and soul of the franchise, and if Doan leaves some Coyote fans will believe the franchise goes with him.

If Doan leaves Phoenix…

Chris Hoeler is a graduate student at Manhattanville College majoring in sports management, as well as the Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Danbury Whalers of the Federal Hockey League. He also writes articles for Turnstyl3, where you can find the ticket to your favorite entertainment.

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