Vulgar Opinions: Shane Doan’t
I want to preface this by saying that I think Shane Doan is a perfectly serviceable player and will probably be a great addition to whichever team he joins before he falls apart like someone hit Craig Rivet with a whiffle bat.
There are several reasons that I want to treat Doan like the class smelly kid, but first among them is that an excruciatingly boring free agency period had deified him into something that he has never been and can never hope to be. That is the only rational explanation I can find for someone offering him, at age 35, $7.5 million dollars for four freaking years. Seriously, who spliced genes from Glen Sather and Jay Feaster into some horrible creature? (I like to call it the Regretasaurus.) With literally no one else even approaching top line talent available (as Alexander Semin cries in a corner about how no one loves him), Doan has become this godly combination of every intangible, and a few tangibles to boot.
I’ve seen comparisons to Chris Drury out there, and that’s fine if you’re willing to stop at “full of all this crap you want, and also actual hockey talent.” Otherwise they’re not really anything alike. Drury played less physical, probably possessed more scoring talent, had far more playoff success (though that is not necessarily Doan’s fault) and was much more of an all around player as evidenced in his rough 3:00 minutes of penalty killing time per game. (For comparison Doan hit 0:52 last season and didn’t come close the two previous seasons.)
And again, Doan is a great player, but the price-tag just kills me. $7.5 million, for four years! Even if you’re willing to convince yourself that he’s going to continue his 50-60 point trend of the past three seasons, that’s crazy pants. Basically adding Doan at that price-tag is an admission that you’re one Shane Doan away from a Stanley cup (which I don’t think the Sabres are). And even that decision is a gamble that Doan will A). Not get hurt. B). Not disrupt your existing leadership (probably unlikely) and C). Be productive enough as a hockey player to be worth that money. And if you don’t win the cup and any of the above things happens, or he just gets old, then you’ve essentially just bought a very expensive rock.