Tag: Shane Doan

Don Maloney

Coyotes GM: We can’t ‘match up, No. 1 line to No. 1 line, with many teams in the West’


In a conference loaded with talent up front — especially at center — the Arizona Coyotes are behind the 8-ball.

Just ask their GM.

“We can’t sit here and say we match up, No. 1 line to No. 1 line, with many teams in the West,” Don Maloney told Fox Sports Arizona. “But maybe we can control the top lines and outperform the lower lines.

“With our goaltending, our blue line and our coaching, we’ll find a way to score some goals up front.”

The Coyotes broke camp with a projected top-nine forward group comprised of Shane Doan, Antoine Vermette, Mikkel Boedker, Martin Hanzal, Lauri Korpikoski, Sam Gagner, Martin Erat, David Moss and (it’s assumed) rookie Max Domi. It’s not a bad group, but one that’s light on goalscoring ability — Vermette, Doan and Radim Vrbata were the team’s only 20-goal scorers a year ago, and Vrbata’s gone — and bereft of elite-level talent down the middle.

This isn’t a knock on Hanzal, Gagner and Vermette (the latter was very good last year, and finished 14th in Selke voting), but it’s pretty obvious Arizona has a collection of No. 2 and 3 centers, missing a top-line stud — and in a conference that features the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Jonathan Toews, Joe Thornton, Tyler Seguin, Anze Kopitar, Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene, there are difficult matchups on a near-nightly basis.

It’s something Maloney acknowledges. While he said he believes the Coyotes can be a playoff team, he was also realistic about how his club would have to qualify.

“Let’s face it,” Maloney said. “We need a lot of things to go well.”

Fanspeak: Doan voted greatest Coyote in franchise history

Shane Doan

This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Arizona Coyotes

1. Shane Doan — 626

2. Jeremy Roenick — 189

3. Keith Tkachuk — 139

It’s not hard to see where the fans were coming from on this one. Shane Doan has earned the respect of Coyotes fans for his leadership since becoming the team captain in 2003 and his years of solid play, but its his loyalty that stands out the most.

Doan has spent his entire career as a member of the Jets/Coyotes franchise and while it’s rare for a player to stick with one club, that only scratches the surface of what makes his decision special. While leading the Coyotes on the ice, the franchise went through a prolonged period of uncertainty because the team didn’t have an owner and there was constant speculation about whether or not the Coyotes would relocate.

With that situation as the backdrop, Doan became a free agent in the summer of 2012. While he did test the market, he ultimately took a chance on the Coyotes by signing a four-year, $21.2 million contract. Although the Coyotes regressed on the ice in 2012-13, Doan insisted that he didn’t regret his decision.

“The unique situation with Shane, there’s not many players in sports right now that would take that leap of faith right now,” head coach Dave Tippett said in May 2013.

Doan’s trust was rewarded as the Coyotes’ ownership situation has finally been resolved. He will be 38 in October and has two seasons left on his contract, but he still has some hockey left in him.

Looking to make the leap: Max Domi

Max Domi

When the Arizona Coyotes took forward Max Domi with the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, they knew they were getting an offensively gifted player. Now they’re hoping he can be the guy to help give them a lift perhaps sooner than later.

Domi, the son of former NHL roughneck Tie Domi, has been an exceptional player for the OHL London Knights the past two seasons. Two years ago, he scored 39 goals with 87 points. Last season he topped his point total putting up 93 points with 34 goals.

Just like his father, he’s got a bit of the agitator in him as well as he had 90 penalty minutes last season. But it’s the offensive skills the Coyotes selected him for and now they may need to call on him to help keep the team in the playoff hunt out West.

Arizona lost Radim Vrbata to the Vancouver Canucks in free agency and bought out Mike Ribeiro after what Coyotes GM Don Maloney said were less-than favorable circumstances. For as poorly as things worked out with Ribeiro, he was still fifth on the team in points with 47. Vrbata was second with 51 including 20 goals.

The Coyotes were able to acquire Sam Gagner from the Tampa Bay Lightning, it’s guys like Antoine Vermette, Mikkel Boedker, Martin Erat and Shane Doan who shape up to carry the bulk of the offensive load. If you enter Domi into the equation and things start to look up, especially if he can use his skills to provide a spark.

If there’s an upside for Domi heading into training camp it’s that there shouldn’t be too much competition from other young players to battle for a spot with the big club.

Domi came close to cracking the lineup last season and with an added year of junior play to his record, you’d have to think he’ll be in a better position to make the Coyotes this time around.

If he can’t crack the lineup,  he can go back to London and dominate for one more season. Only question there is whether there’s anything to be gained by going back to juniors.

Under Pressure: Jarome Iginla

Jarome Iginla

Look, this isn’t to say that the Colorado Avalanche’s success in 2014-15 will be dependent on Jarome Iginla. The 37-year-old winger will be a reasonably significant part of the equation, to be sure; however, the young core of Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan O’Reilly, Nathan MacKinnon, and Semyon Varlamov is exactly that — the core. As in, the most important part.

We picked Iginla for this post because, after leaving Calgary to chase his first Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh and Boston, he still doesn’t have a ring. Evidently, he feels has a chance to get one in Colorado.

“With this group, I think the sky is the limit,” Iginla said, per the Denver Post, after signing a three-year, $16 million deal with the Avs. “When I think of some of the teams that have had success in the NHL in the last five or six years, I think of Chicago; they were a very young, very talented team that moved up very quickly, that had a very talented young core when they won.”

How ready the Avs really are to compete for a Cup is up for debate. On paper, Colorado’s blue line doesn’t look championship caliber. Certainly, there’s no Zdeno Chara, Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith back there.

Of course, for Iginla, it’s not just about next season in Colorado. There’s a reason he pushed for a three-year deal.

“You don’t want to come and just have one shot at it, on a one-year deal,” he said.

But Iginla has played 1,310 games in his stellar NHL career. Only two active players, Jaromir Jagr (1,473) and Shane Doan (1,315) have played more than that.

So while he’s not quite down to his last shot to hoist Lord Stanley, he’s getting there.

Ference awarded King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers

Oilers captain Andrew Ference is this year’s recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the NHL player who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”

Ference received the award in recognition of his efforts to keeping people in shape, preserving the environment, and helping both kids and the homeless in the Edmonton area.

For the full press release, click here.

Previous recipients of the award include Patrice Bergeron, Daniel Alfredsson, Doug Weight, and Shane Doan.