Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 9/14/12

DALLAS - JANUARY 31: Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes celebrates his goal against the Dallas Stars in the third period at American Airlines Center on January 31, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, Ariz. Coyotes coach Dave Tippett keeps his line combinations written on a grease board in magic marker. All of the players' names were written in black this week at the teams informal skates, signifying their permanence. All except one. Shane Doan was written in red, and man, was that color choice appropriate. Had the Phoenix Coyotes lost their captain and the unquestioned face of the franchise in free agency, it would have set off a five-alarm fire within this organization and within the Valley hockey community. "There weren't any contingency plans, Tippett said. If you lose a guy like that, it makes a big impact." Fortunately for the Coyotes, the first of three big dominoes fell in their favor on Friday when Doan agreed to a four-year, 21.5 million deal with a 2 million signing bonus that will keep him in Phoenix through the 2015-2016 season. "I dragged this thing on as long as I possibly could, Doan said to a chorus of laughter during his press conference at Jobing.com Arena. It kind of came down to me continuing what we started here. I didnt like the way it finished with us losing in the conference finals, but at the same time, it gave us a little taste of what the group could do." Doan, the team's captain since 2003, led Phoenix to its first conference finals appearance and its first Pacific Division title. The Coyotes lost in the Western Conference finals to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in five games. Doan finished tied for the team lead in playoff goals (five, including two game-winners) and four assists in nine games. Doan agreed to the deal earlier this week but gave everyone the impression that it was contingent on the completion of the sale of the club to prospective owner Greg Jamison. That second domino did not fall on Friday, and general manager Don Maloney said it would not happen before a potential NHL lockout begins Saturday at midnight ET. But if youre reading the tea leaves, you have to believe Doan feels confident in that sale going through or he might have signed with one of his many other suitors, including the hard-charging Vancouver Canucks, who were on the short list. "This was as far as I could push it without going crazy, Doan said. "In talking with Mr. Jamison, you get confidence in the fact that hes going to get it done. Everyone believes its going to get done." Maybe so, but for a franchise with this ones 3-year-plus track record, that is one giant leap of faith. Then again, thats exactly what youd expect from Doan. Scour your memory banks and see if you can locate another athlete who went to such great lengths to remain with his original club, even when better offers were reportedly on the table. "Especially in todays sports, loyalty to an organization is sometimes not the key element, Tippett said. It trickles down. Its the impact that he has on an organization thats striving to get some sort of stability, striving to get an identity, striving to win. The loyalty and commitment he shows makes us a better organization." Make no mistake: Doan, 35, got a good deal. As Maloney said: Believe me, this wasnt a blue-plate special. But given the uncertainty of this franchises future, its history and those better offers, its remarkable that he waited this one out and made the choice he did. "The process was a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be, Doan said. There were some generous offers. That being said, I think I made it clear right from the beginning my whole goal was to be back here." Doan said his wife, Andrea, and his family were enormous considerations in the process, but he received nothing but support. "She and I have a great partnership, he said of his wife. Because of that, both of us had to be in this. She was more than in it." Maloney said Doan has agreed to defer his signing bonus to help the team with cap constraints. Ideally, I would have liked to have a lot more (of the payment) in this year because we have a lot of space this year, relative to our budget and the cap, but its a livable structure, Maloney said. With that space, Maloney would like to add to his forward group, likely via trades, before the season begins. But the looming NHL lockout will likely prevent any such thought for now. Its an ironic twist that the team the NHL has fought so hard to keep in Arizona could be harmed by the lockout the league (which also owns the Coyotes) is about to impose. But Friday was not a day for doomsday scenarios, and just in case your mind started wandering to those dark places, Doan brought it back with those genuine, aw-shucks lines that made you fall for him so long ago. "I guess 'humbled' is a good word to use when you talk to people and theyre so adamant about you staying, Doan said of the Valleys fans. I want to see us raise a banner here in this building, and I want to be here to do it. "I was always planning on being a Coyote." Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Robert Griffin III on QB battle: Only one of us runs 4.3

Gordon defends friendship with 'good friend' Manziel

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bell admits he knew about missed drug test, lied to media

Report: Chargers rookie Joey Bosa to hold out of camp

Doc Rivers blames ‘bloggers’ for Blake Griffin trade rumors

Jason Peters: Eagles practiced too much under Chip Kelly

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

WATCH: Belichick gets annoyed by Jimmy Garoppolo question

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker