Phoenix Coyotes Captain Shane Doan to Test Free Agency

Kevin BonnevilleContributor IIIJune 26, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 20:  Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes arrives before the 2012 NHL Awards at the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas on June 20, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It may be hard to believe, but there is a possibility that Shane Doan could be wearing a different sweater come next season. News came out this afternoon that Captain Coyote will test the free agent waters that officially begins on July 1st.

Doan becoming an unrestricted free agent, and the Coyotes inability to lock up a deal, has everything to do with the Coyotes current ownership mess. Greg Jamison won't become the team's new owner by the beginning of next month, meaning the organization's hands are tied in terms of spending money.

Coyotes general manager Don Maloney believes Phoenix can still sign Doan despite the ownership issues.

"We feel confident we can re-sign him. It's just a matter of getting a little more clarity, hopefully when Greg Jamison's group may be able to take over the team.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it'll happen by July 1, so now you run the risk of going to July 1 and some of my good friends in the general managers seats saying 'Let me just see if I can make it more expensive for the Coyotes' or make a legitimate offer."

Despite being 35, Doan is still arguably the Coyotes most important player. His point totals were the lowest they have been since the 1997-1998 season, but he brings so many other things to the table that aren't tallied on the stats sheet.

There will be plenty of teams that will call the former first round pick once free agency gets under way. The Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers are the first two teams that come to mind. Chicago was a rumored destination for Doan before last year's trade deadline, but the Yotes held onto him and they would go on to win to make a deep run into the playoffs.

Lest a Doan deal with Phoenix gets done. If any one player belongs to an organization, it is Doan to the Coyotes.