Friday, June 23, 2017

Shane Doan Autographed Card

Man, the Arizona Coyotes sure don't know how to handle their business in a classy manner.

A few days ago, they announced very publicly that they wouldn't re-sign long-time captain and sole player remaining from the organization's days as the Winnipeg Jets, Shane Doan, and they have now terminated head coach and VP of hockey operations Dave Tippett with three years remaining on his contract.

Tippett coached the team through two bankruptcies, four years without an owner, and a near decade-long rebuild, but that's nothing compared to Doan's contribution to the Coyotes. They straight-up would not be an NHL team today if he hadn't stuck with them through thick and thin, re-signing below market value three times instead.

I'm by no means trying to make Doan into what he was not; we're not talking Alex Ovechkin goal-scoring here, as he's only reached the 30-goal plateau twice in 21 NHL seasons, and we're not talking about a Keith Tkachuk-like power forward, as he's only reached the 100-PIM level twice (one of those being his rookie season in 1995-96), and we're not talking about a two-way forward either, as he's in the minuses ten times, and we're not talking about a player who will produce regardless of who he plays with or makes his teammates better, as he was never a point-per-game player - as a matter of fact, he only came close once, posting 78 points (28 goals, 50 assists) in 80 games in 2007-08.

Still, the guy who has put the team ahead of his own benefit for over a decade - your captain, the guy who has helped sign and attract free agents who did not want to come to such a dysfunctional team and, uh, non-traditional hockey market - should not be kicked out the door with so little class.

The sub-par PR moves made since Andrew Barroway became the team's sole owner - including getting rid of its CEO and minority shareholder Anthony Leblanc, who happens to be the guy who bought the team from the league and "saved" it from relocation or contraction - leave an awful taste in my mouth, reminiscent of the takeover and subsequent cash-grab from the sale of the Montréal Expos in MLB over a decade ago. The fact that he's NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's brother-in-law AND a hedge fund capitalist just adds to that feeling that some small town in Arizona is being pitched a monorail, which will end up in the team leaving town anyway, new building or not.

There are veterans out there for whom I wish a(nother) Stanley Cup: Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla, Jaroslav Halak, Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec. But after this, I won't be angry if Doan can get one as a balm or payback.

Here he is sporting the team's former white uniform, on card #69 from Upper Deck's 2005-06 Power Play set, seemingly fanning on a shot in front of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' Jean-Sébastien Giguère:
He signed it in 2008-09, just like this card I featured three and a half years ago, but upon which I only fell when searching for a Jhonas Enroth card, as detailed in this Olaf Kolzig post.

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