Most Sabres fans, I believe, feel the team could use a player like Shane Doan. Respected, veteran leader type who can show the young guys how to be a pro and still hold his own enough production wise so as to not make the signing look like a joke.
The place fans separate is on what cost is reasonable. I love the Doan idea, and did as free agency opened at the beginning of July. Even I was taken by surprise when hearing about a reported 4 year $30 million contract offer. $7.5 million a year? Seriously, for Shane Doan? Then I sat on it for a little while and decided that the idea still was appealing to me.
Shane Doan is the type of player I want Marcus Foligno sitting next to in the locker room., going out to dinner with, learning what it takes to be the best player he can be, on and off the ice.
I believe Shane Doan is the type of player that makes it more likely that the rest of your players are going to find a way to dig a little deeper and give a little bit more when it's needed. In a sport that is so competitive I think that can make a difference over the course of a long season.
I think I'm not that worried about what Shane Doan will be like when he's 38 or 39 years old. I'm doing this to give my team the best chance to win now. When the time comes to regret having a broken down, soon to be 40 year old winger on my team, I'll deal with it the way the big boy teams do. I'll figure out a way to make it work. I'll buy him out. I'll send him back to Winnipeg for a victory tour. I'll ride it out. I admit, I don't care about 3 years from now.
We want our owner to really act like the Sabres sole reason for existence is to win the Stanley Cup, right? Does having Shane Doan on your team next season and maybe the season after give you a better look at that? I say of course it does.
You want to see the Sabres change how they are perceived around the league? Win a recruiting battle for one of the most respected players in the NHL. Get Shane Doan to come to Buffalo instead of going to Detroit, or Pittsburgh. If that has to cost you a couple of more million a year than we all thought it would, money well spent, I say.
So take the swing, win and pose for your own statue in your new alumni plaza. Or take the swing, don't win and have lots of people call you nuts and irresponsible for paying Shane Doan.