Few people are probably as excited to see the Phoenix Coyotes’ ownership saga come to a close than Shane Doan.
The team’s captain, he has been a part of the organization since being drafted in 1995, and turned down more than a few chances to leave for a more stable situation.
The most recent time came before the 2012-13 season, when he agreed to a four-year contract to stay with the franchise. A little less than one year later things have finally worked out, and the only franchise the 36-year-old has ever known is finally no longer under league control.
“It was something that you don’t feel like people can question it near as much,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Bickley with Marotta when asked about the decision to re-up in Phoenix amidst all the uncertainty. “I’ve always been convinced it was the right decision, and now to have it done yeah, it definitely makes me feel a little more comfortable in that decision.”
Doan, though, said he was never worried about things so much as he was disappointed, but felt last year that the organization would not be leaving Arizona. Yet, he was comfortable enough to take his chances that it might as long as it meant he could continue to play for a team he believes is set up nicely to win.
“Obviously this makes that seem that much more realistic,” he said of the ownership news.
Indeed, having a financial backing that the team has lacked in recent years, even while it was making three straight postseason appearances, should only help.
It’s already been seen some in the team’s ability to retain general manager Don Maloney and head coach Dave Tippett, while re-signing goalie Mike Smith and making other free agent additions.
“With the coach and the general manager and the goalie and the blue line and the centermen that we have,” Doan said. “We have the chance to become kind of the ‘it’ team in the Valley.
“And having ownership is kind of just solidified all that in you could always kind of say that in the past, but then there’d kind of be, ‘Yeah, but you don’t have ownership and you’re going to leave’ and now that’s kind of taken away. I’m excited about what can really go on.”
A championship-caliber Coyotes team is something the Valley has not seen very often, but fans have turned out when the team’s play has picked up. However, with the way the other professional sports teams are struggling, an elite Coyotes team could very easily draw a large number of fans to Glendale.
And now that the team has ownership in place, that may ultimately be what happens.