Report: Shane Doan offered four year deal worth more than $7.5 million per season

Updated: July 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm by Jonathan Willis

According to John Gambadoro, a sports radio host out of Phoenix, an Eastern Conference team has offered Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan a four year deal with an annual cap hit north of $7.5 million. Is there any situation where that sort of money would make sense?

T there’s no way that Doan is worth that kind of money to a team with any interest in being near the salary cap. He’s averaged 20 goals and 55 points per season, along with an even plus/minus for the last three years (on a playoff team the whole time). His advanced numbers, via Behind the Net, are good but not overwhelming over that same span:

Season QC. Rank Corsi Rel. 5v5 PTS/60 ZS
2011-12 6th 5.8 1.68 52.7
2010-11 6th 6.2 2.17 49.1
2009-10 7th 5.1 1.91 54.8

Basically, Doan’s played mid-level opposition, seen a medium balance between offensive and defensive zone starts, scored at a good but not overwhelming level and kept the balance of play in the offensive zone.

Beyond the problem with paying a good top-six forward $7.5 million per season is the difficulty of the over-35 clause in the collective bargaining agreement. Any player over the age of 35 when his new contract kicks in has a cap hit that is virtually impossible to part with – it remains whether they’re bought out, waived, demoted to the minors, or sent to Europe.

In short, for a team worried about the cap, it’s a massive overpay and a huge risk.

For a team worried about the cap floor, however, things change somewhat. Suddenly, the fact that Doan can retire and his cap hit stays on the books is a positive rather than a negative. They’re still overpaying, but they’re overpaying for a player widely recognized as a good leader.

On the other hand, a budget team (as all cap floor teams are) needs to be more careful than other clubs where its money goes – so while they might not blink at taking on a massive cap hit, the massive salary that goes with it is something else entirely. They need all of their dollars to pay for the best talent they have.

It’s also not like there aren’t other options. Teams all over the league have veteran players with big cap hits in the last years of front-loaded deals. To pick one example, Scott Gomez has more than $14.5 million in cap hit remaining on his contract, but only $10 million in actual money – meaning a budget team could trade for his rights to get to the floor (likely even gaining assets for their assistance in taking the cap hit off of Montreal’s hands) and save actual money. It’s a better option than shoveling money at Shane Doan.

In short, no, the reported Doan deal doesn’t make sense – even for a team trying to reach the cap floor.

THIS WEEK BY JONATHAN WILLIS