Its no surprise fans of the Phoenix Coyotes are frustrated. After 4 years, the team and their fans have been strung along, been told interested parties were in talks with the NHL and the City of Glendale and saw ownership groups come so close only to come up short. But someone who shares their frustration? Their captain Shane Doan.
Rightfully so, the 36-year old veteran was only 19 when he packed his things along with the rest of the Winnipeg Jets and headed to the desert to don a new crest bearing the name of a city that seemed a world away from the frigid providence of Manitoba. Now 17 years later, Doan is facing the same dilemma.
While the off ice issues in Winnipeg and the ones in Glendale are completely different both incidences have soured the game for their respective fan bases, causing many to lose faith in the league they spend so much time and money investing in. But for Shane Doan, his faith through out the ownership mess has never faded. That may come off hard to believe considering his most recent contract was inked last September in good faith that the team would be sold by season’s start. But now siting in a locker room five months after the fact, the team, the fans and Shane Doan are back at square one.
In town Tuesday for the Coyotes’ game against the Vancouver Canucks, Shane Doan spoke to the media about his disappointment, frustration, and thoughts on the Phoenix market.
“The most frustrating thing to me I think is that we have the staples to be one of those organizations that could really be a stable franchise for a long long time.” – Doan
That statement is true. The Phoenix Coyotes are housed in a fairly new state-of-the-art arena with a loyal fan base that has stuck with the team through four years of turmoil and placed in a large enough market to fill up the remaining empty seats. But unfortunately for the boys who don the Sedona red sweaters, they haven’t been given the proper tools to become stable. It wasn’t until Jerry Moyes’ filing of the team’s bankruptcy and the take over by the National Hockey League that the Phoenix ship had just began to be steered in the right direction.
Shane Doan goes on to express his feelings that the team now has the power to truly do something special in the Valley of the Sun. Whether or not that’s true has yet to be seen but the idea of the Phoenix Coyotes moving before the market has really been tapped to see if hockey works in the desert is a travesty and something that shouldn’t be wished on by any hockey fan. But for Shane Doan and hockey fans in Arizona, such is life.