The Phoenix Coyotes have faced many questions over the course of the past year, but the one major one will have a ripple effect on the rest of the team. The two primary names involved in this entire ordeal remain the same. While they may go hand in hand together in talks, it is the duration remaining on a self-imposed deadline that will determine just how much longer these two remain linked.
The two players in this saga are star captain Shane Doan and potential new team owner Greg Jamison.
Doan has spent his entire 16 year career with the same organization, and has expressed his desire to remain with the Coyotes going forward. He has also set multiple self-imposed deadlines as to whether or not he would re-sign with Phoenix or take his talents elsewhere toward the end of his career, with the most recent one being September 15, which is the date that the current collective bargaining agreement expires.
It would be foolish for Doan to wait until after the current CBA expires, as whenever a new one is reached, a player’s future earning potential could decrease with stricter salary cap guidelines. And while Doan has said he would love to remain with Phoenix, he has also made it quite clear that he will not do so while the Coyotes’ ownership situation remains unresolved.
And unfortunately for Phoenix, it remains unlikely that Jamison will be able to purchase the team by September 15, even as the city of Glendale has extended the arena agreement with the NHL for at least another month. This will allow Jamison more time to purchase the team, but it will be awfully difficult for him to convince potential investors to give him the additional $20 million that it will take to buy the team from the league.
If the past is any indication, considering that this will be the fourth 30 day arena management agreement that Jamison and Glendale have needed just to buy a little more time. Glendale has twice pledged $25 million to the league to operate the arena and keep the team in Glendale. But that is nothing compared to what Jamison needs, as the city council approved a 20-year, $324 million deal with Jamison.
The NHL has operated the Coyotes since former owner Jerry Moyes took the team into bankruptcy in 2009.
But the clock is ticking. Jamison may be given more than enough time to eventually purchase the Coyotes prior to whenever the upcoming NHL season begins. But he now has less than three weeks to do so if he intends to keep his captain in the desert. If not, it is highly likely that Doan will finish his career with another franchise.
Especially considering he has already received some very lucrative confirmed deals from teams who are not dealing with any ownership issues.