Today the Arizona Coyotes announced that this season will have been the last that esteemed captain Shane Doan will have played for them. Controversy has surrounded this news as the decision came from owner, governor, and chairman Andrew Barroway, rather than allowing Doan to leave on his own terms. Ridding fans of an opportunity to truly thank Doan and give him the farewell he truly deserves.
After 21 years, Doan has built a reputation both in Arizona as well as the world as one of the greatest captains to have ever graced the NHL. As Arizona decided to take a ‘new direction’, is it wise with such a young roster to discard such a valuable influence and motivator? And if so, can we be looking at similar decisions with Radim Vrbata?
However, perhaps a new direction is necessary. With the 2017 draft around the corner and recently acquired forward Nick cousins it may be an opportunity to cease a youthful squad ready to follow in the footsteps of Captain Coyote Himself. It is not as such a case of Doan being unable to play to his own standard anymore, but rather that the team can now free up the space for a young player that could bring them something bigger, potentially into a Stanley Cup contender.
All in all, it appears that the decision may not have been the wrong one, it is rather that the method and timing was. Shane Doan deserved a true send-off, one that his fans would have wanted to give him.