BLOG: Shane Doan, go win a Stanley Cup

BLOG: Shane Doan, go win a Stanley Cup
Posted at 11:35 AM, Jan 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 15:42:39-05

Every die-hard hockey fan knows the story of one Mr. Raymond Jean Bourque.

Bourque remains one of the most beloved skaters in Boston Bruins history. He was drafted by the team in 1979 and played in Boston for 20 seasons -- but when he was getting ready to call it a career, one thing was notably missing: a Stanley Cup championship.

Bourque wasn't going to accomplish that goal with the Bruins, who were among the worst teams in hockey in the 1999-2000 season. He requested a trade, and the Bruins dealt him to the Colorado Avalanche, a Western Conference powerhouse at the time.

Just over a year later, the 40-year-old Bourque got to lift that elusive Stanley Cup trophy. Several days later, he brought the Cup back to the city of Boston so he could celebrate with the fans he played in front of for a full two decades.

Like Bourque in Boston, Shane Doan's name has become synonymous with the Valley of the Sun. And like Bourque, it's time for Doan to request a trade so he can check that final box -- the largest box of them all -- off his list.

No man in the history of sports has been more loyal to a franchise and a city than Doan has to the Arizona Coyotes and the Valley. He was drafted by the Coyotes franchise (then known as the Winnipeg Jets) in 1995 and has been a member of the franchise ever since, through thick and (mostly) thin. He's been with the team longer than several of his teammates have been alive.

Doan has had opportunity after opportunity to leave town for greener pastures. He has turned down that opportunity each time, largely because he, his wife and four children have put down roots in the Valley.

Doan has endured scorn for that decision. One bombastic Toronto radio host even declared that Doan loves to lose. But even some Coyotes fans have questioned the 40-year-old's decision to remain with the floundering franchise.

On Monday, we learned that Doan might -- just might -- be open to a trade. Doan has a no-trade clause etched into his current one-year deal with the Coyotes, but said he would consider waiving that clause if the "perfect" situation came along.

No active NHL player deserves to hoist the Stanley Cup more than Doan does, and no franchise is further away from making that a reality for Doan than the last-place Coyotes are.

Under new general manager John Chayka, the Coyotes are in full rebuild mode. They have one of the best groups of young, up-and-coming talent in the NHL, but by all accounts, they are several years away from becoming a playoff-caliber team.

Shane Doan doesn't have several years. He considered retirement before this season began, and he'll likely consider it again when the season is over.

Of course, if Doan accepts a trade, there's no guarantee his new team would will go on to win it all. But that team's chances would be multiplied by having a veteran leader, both on and off the ice, on their side.

Even at the age of 40, Doan could help get a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks or another championship contender over the hump, just as Bourque did when he scored the game-winning goal vs. the Devils in Game 3 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Valley will probably always be home to Doan and his family. When his playing career is over, the Coyotes would to well to offer him a lifetime role within the organization, either as a coach or in upper management.

This will all be waiting for him when he returns home after a 3-4-month stint in Pittsburgh, Chicago or wherever the Coyotes send him if he's willing to waive that no-trade clause.

Mr. Doan, go win yourself a Stanley Cup. Then, do what Mr. Bourque did: bring the Cup home to your friends, family and fans.

We can't wait to celebrate with you.