Shane Doan has my vote for president
On Monday, Craig Morgan reported on ArizonaSports.com that the Arizona Coyotes’ majority owner, Andrew Barroway, bought out the remaining shares of from the rest of the Coyotes’ owners, thereby making him the sole owner. By doing so, President Anthony LeBlanc was bought out and there is a vacancy for his role.
By Tuesday, there has been no announcement that Shane Doan has taken the role as president. It shouldn’t take that long. Barroway’s first phone call should have been to Commissioner Bettman saying the acquisition of the Coyotes remaining shares was completed. The second phone call should have been made to Doan asking if he would accept the role as team president.
There is no one more qualified to take over than Shane Doan. He already is the face of the franchise. Who would be better at motivating and running an office staff? He’s had to do so much more than any captain in NHL history that he can easily handle closing business deals with other corporations just like he’s reassured those same businesses when the Coyotes’ future was in so much doubt. It’s not like he won’t have the courage to take on the league in a disagreement. Remember the class and restraint he showed following the Western Conference Finals while still getting his point across regarding the horrific officiating? He acted exactly as a president should, yet his team had just been eliminated from his best chance at the Cup with all the emotional anguish and physical toll a long playoff run enacts on the body.
Shane Doan is not the player Mario Lemieux was. No one is going to stand on the table and compare resumes. Doan’s legacy, here in Phoenix, is strikingly similar, sadly, without the Stanley Cups and Hall of Fame status. Mario Lemieux saved the Penguins by buying the bankrupt franchise and rebuilding it back to glory. Unfortunately, “glory” has not hit the Coyotes but Doan — along with Head Coach Dave Tippett — was the stabilizing force during the Coyotes’ bankruptcy. At least Lemieux was retired when he brought the team back from the dead. Doan had it much harder trying to save the franchise while competing in the playoffs.
Doan moved with the franchise from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996. Doan has played in three home arenas during his tenure. Doan has played for seven majority owners. Even worse, one of the longest stretches of his career with one owner in the same arena was during the years Gary Bettman owned the team (technically it was the league). Since the organization could never combine city stability, ownership stability and/or arena stability during his tenure as captain, he was almost a de facto president anyway.
In one way or another, Doan has been the acting team president ever since the franchise’s financial situation went into free fall without the benefit of real decision making power. Obviously, he’s been through an unorthodox path to become a president but the holes that might exist in his resume — compared to someone with a “normal” business background — are more than filled-in with Doan’s tremendous off-ice hockey experiences that goes way beyond any player in hockey history. For years, Shane Doan wasn’t just learning the business, he was the business.
Sure, there are many things a franchise president does that Doan would need on-the-job training. He already runs a business with his Ice Barns horse ranch. There’s a famous story where he paid for health insurance for some team personnel during the lockout, so you know he’ll look out for every employee like a president should. He’s also not going to have a problem holding an employee accountable, just ask any of his teammates since he was named Captain in 2003. There is no one more uniquely qualified to become the Coyotes’ next president.
The Coyotes don’t need to look for new leadership. The Coyotes need to simply change Doan’s “C” to a “P” and follow along.