Saturday, August 25, 2012

NHL free agency: San Jose Sharks will get answer from Shane Doan by 9/15 -

Friday, August 24, reported that Shane Doan will make a decision on whether to sign with the San Jose Sharks by September 15.

That is the last day of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), and it is no coincidence. Doan's agent Terry Bross drew the connection in an interview with Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic:

(A new CBA must) be done before the 15th, otherwise we're signing somewhere because we don't know what the new CBA is going to look like, and I don't know if it's going to limit any scope of a contract, so we want to make sure we sign before then.

This does not change things much. After waiting nine weeks, what is three more?

Once it was clear Doan was in no hurry and there was no one else available, teams seem content to wait to see how NHL labor talks go before going to backup plans. Multiple teams have been reported to have offered as much as four years and $30 million for the nearly 36-year old power forward. However, these are not from teams Doan wants to play for most...if he even leaves the Phoenix Coyotes.

No matter how ownership shakes out, they will not be able to pay anywhere near that. It is unlikely the team's future in Phoenix will be settled before ballot measures are voted on in November.

Doan will have no better idea on September 15 than he does now where those measures stand. He either must step out in faith on that franchise or another.

San Jose may offer him a buffer due to its proximity to Phoenix, but the Sharks will not be able to compete in salary. Doan clearly wants the security of a four-year deal, but a one-year contract might give Coyotes ownership time to settle without him losing much value as a player.

He can always go for the best team or the biggest payday next season.

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