Two week ago, Shane Doan's agent, Terry Bross, told the Arizona Republic that his client would be signing a contract before the expiration of the CBA on Sept. 15. The key was that the Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation needed to be settled if the 35-year old Doan was going to commit to a long-term deal with the team. If nothing was settled by then, Doan would be forced to leave the only franchise that he's known in his 16-year career.
Since Aug. 23, news has come out that Greg Jamison has secured financing to purchase the team, but the City of Glendale wants to rework its 20-year, $324 million lease deal. Yet another speed bump in the never-ending process in the sale of the team.
Appearing on XTRA 910 in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, Doan confirmed to hosts Mike Jurecki and Dan Bickley that he will be signing a new contract by the 15th and that he already has a deal in place to remain with the Coyotes, pending the lease agreement. But that doesn't mean he'll be staying in Phoenix.
MJ: What's the latest? We heard that he obviously has the money, and he's ready to purchase it from the National Hockey League. And then you hear Glendale wants to rework the lease agreement and obviously if you're Mr. Jamison, you don't want to purchase the team and then have to fight it in court. What do you know, what's the latest?
Doan: That's pretty much it. Mr. Jamison has the money. Mr. Bettman has said it's all good, according to the NHL, and it's going to go through. It's just a matter of getting the lease agreement done now. Obviously that was done earlier. Now there are some things they decided they wanted to change, which obviously can delay things. With that being said, I think that Mr. Jamison and the league have stated it's really up to Glendale and Glendale, they had it done for awhile. So it's not like it's been up to them up to this point. But there's a couple things they want to change, and hopefully they can get the changes done and approved in the coming week.
While just about every NHL team expressed interest in signing Doan since he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, the Coyotes captain said his list of teams he would leave Phoenix for has been whittled down to "two or three".
But despite numerous deadlines over the summer, things went as expected. Doan is giving the Coyotes every possible chance to bring stability to the ownership level so he can remain with the team for the rest of his career. He spoke glowingly about the current makeup of the roster and praised the current management, calling Dave Tippett the best coach in the league. He's grown up and raised a family in Phoenix. And leaving now, at this point in his career, is not the easiest decision, even if he does have a reported 4-year, $30 million deal on the table from the Buffalo Sabres.
Could a potential delay to the 2012-13 season aid the chances of Doan staying in Phoenix if Jamison is still working on purchasing the team past Sept. 15? Maybe. While uncertainty with what the new CBA will look like could present a potentially better option now in terms of what he's looking for, as Bross noted last month, we've already watched multiple deadlines pass this summer. If all Jamison needs now is a reworked lease agreement, could being this close to the finish line make Doan bypass yet another one?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy