Saturday, October 14, 2006

Player of the Day (Oct 14)

Each day I will be featuring a current or former player as "Player of the Day". Today that player is:

Shane Doan

Shane Doan was drafted 7th Overall in the 1995 Entry Draft by Winnipeg. The next five picks in the draft were Terry Ryan, Kyle Mclaren, Radek Dvorak, Jarome Iginla and Teemu Riihijarvi.

Doan immediately made the jump to the NHL, putting up 7 goals and 17 points in his rookie season, followed by a 4 goal, 12 point season in 96-97, after the Jets moved to Phoenix. The next season was split between Phoenix and Springfield of the AHL. Although he was very successful in Springfield (21 G, 42 pts in 39 games), Doan still struggled to produce offensively, putting up just 11 points in 33 games and then just 6 goals and 22 points in 79 games.

You often see organizations give up on young players too soon, and fortunately for the Coyotes this was not one of those instances. Despite putting up just 22 goals and 62 points in 249 games the team stuck with Doan and were rewarded with a 26-goal season in 1999. He has been a model of consistency, averaging 25 goals a year and 59 points over the past six seasons and has missed just 14 games over that span. Last season Doan broke the 30-goal barrier for the first time.

Doan is the only current Coyotes player who has been with the team since they were in Phoenix. He has been the team Captain since 2003 and was selected to represent Canada at the World Cup in 2004, where he scored the winning goal in the final game. He also played for Canada's Olympic team in 2006.

Following this season Doan will become an Unrestricted Free Agent. He is currently making $3.382 million. If the Coyotes continue to struggle (they are 1-3 and have given up 19 goals), they will have to find out whether Doan, Nagy and Comrie are willing to commit to the franchise long-term, otherwise there certainly won't be a shortage of teams looking to deal. In my opinion Doan won't get the widespread recognition for the player that he is until he ends up on a playoff calibre team. If he ends up on a team like Ottawa with Spezza and Heatley the hockey world will see what a valuable player he is.

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