Old Man Doan Would Make A Fantastic Pittsburgh Penguin

Old Man Doan Would Make A Fantastic Pittsburgh Penguin

VIA JASON BROUGH OF NBCSPORTS.COM

Shane Doan‘s Arizona Coyotes career is over.

As first reported by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Coyotes informed Doan over the weekend of their decision to part ways.

Shortly after the report, Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway released the following statement:

“After serious consideration, we have decided to not offer Shane Doan a contract for the upcoming season. The time has come for us to move on and to focus on our young, talented group of players and our very bright future. This was a very difficult decision given what Shane has done for the Coyotes and his unparalleled importance to the organization. With that said, this is necessary to move us forward as a franchise.

“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to sincerely thank Shane for everything he’s done for the Coyotes on and off the ice the past 21 years. Shane is a Valley icon who had an incredible career and was one of the best captains to ever play in the NHL.

“Shane deserves an enormous amount of credit for keeping the Coyotes in the Valley and for growing the game of hockey in Arizona. He is beloved by our fans, corporate partners and the media and has been a tremendous leader for us in the community, and a great role model for kids. We wish him and his family all the best in the future. He will be a member of our Pack forever.”

What happens next for the 40-year-old forward remains to be seen.

Doan has been with the same franchise his entire NHL career. He was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 1995, then moved with the team to Arizona in 1996. Over 21 seasons, he’s appeared in over 1,500 regular-season games, plus 55 more in the playoffs.

Earlier this month, his agent said he was“leaning toward” playing another year. However, it wasn’t clear if that meant he’d be willing to do so with another team.

This past season, Doan had just six goals in 74 games for the Coyotes.

He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

According to Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports, the Coyotes will name Oliver Ekman-Larsson as their next captain.

Doan has been the captain since 2003.

The current GM of the Coyotes was a mere seven years old when Doan got drafted in 1996, what does he know about veteran presence? Clearly nothing and as Coyotes GM, he clearly knows nothing about the sport of hockey. This kid's in over his head and now he won't have Papa Doan to push around anymore. 

There are three big common denominators I enjoy with my professional athletes: old age, declining skills and the fortitude to still play the sport they love. My track record covers many mid-30s+ athlete affections: Vinny Testaverde, Doug Mientkiewicz, Bill Guerin, Doug Flutie, Julio Franco, Bernard Hopkins, player coach Reggie Dunlop, the list goes on.

Turning 41 in October, Shane Doan absolutely fits that category, plus you mix that in with a hot temper (former Bucco Mientkiewicz had that too - call it old-man cantankerous) and you've 100% got a career twilight worth watching.

With those extremely sub-par stats for Shane 2016-17, many teams may not want to touch Shane 2017-18, but why not your back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions? If Cullen does indeed retire, why not toss the Doaner on this wave of success, or if Cullen doesn't retire, let's get a Lemmon/Matthau duo rocking a third line. Granted, a horribly ineffective idea, but a Pittsburgh Penguins power move nonetheless. "Just watch us win a third consecutive cup with a third line of a combined age of 115."

Let's face the facts here: I just want Shane Doan on the Pittsburgh Penguins. I saw him not show up against the Pens in a 2015-16 game at Console (Hornqvist did with a hat trick), but I bet you he would wearing that Penguin black and gold. Let him him be the Danny Glover of the entire franchise.

Either way...

LET'S GO PENS (And Shane Doan)

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