Shane Doan deadlines have been kind of like Roberto Luongo trade rumours.
The quantity has only been matched by the unreliability.
Doan has set another one for today. Greg Jamison indicated to Doan's camp he could be in pos-session of the Phoenix Coyotes by today (yeah, right), or at least be in a position to say it's going to happen soon (yeah, right).
If not, and there have been reports Jamison's bid is unravelling, Doan's agent Terry Bross vowed he will "begin aggressively negotiating with other teams."
It's about time he makes a dead-line stick.
At this point, even if the Phoenix ownership situation stabilizes, there's no guarantee the Coyotes, a franchise without much money, can even afford Doan. The market has been set, and it's pricey.
Doan has some of the biggest spending organizations in hockey ready to catch him in cushions stuffed with money and term once he cuts the ties that have kept him attached to the Coyotes for so long. The list includes Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Jose, Montreal, the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks.
The question isn't still are the Canucks on Doan's short list? The question now for Vancouver is how many years are the Canucks willing to commit to Doan to stay on his short list?
What has become clear by the offers which are already in is a three-year deal, the lowest term he'd even consider, is not going to be enough to land Doan.
To stay competitive, it's going to take at least a four-year offer, something the Canucks would probably do.
But more likely, especially when you look at the free spenders involved, Doan is going to get multiple five-year offers, something which would give the Canucks some sleepless nights. This is a risky proposition for a team to lock up a power forward for five years who turns 36 years old in October.
The Canucks will assuredly think long and hard if it comes to that. It won't be the non-starter some assume it is. Many, including those in the Canucks' organization, believe Doan is exactly the type of forward the current edition of the Canucks lack.
Bross, Doan's agent, has kept the Canucks, and several other teams, in the loop, and has indicated this deadline has some teeth behind it. We'll see.
What you shouldn't expect is a quick resolution once Bross begins "aggressively negotiating" with other teams.
"I don't think Shane is anxious," said Bross, who represents many baseball players. "I'm used to free agency in baseball where we drag it out ridiculously long.
"How long are we into this with Shane? A month? Not even 25 days. Not even four weeks. In baseball we don't even get serious until the winter meetings, and usually don't get something done until mid-January."
The teams on Doan's short list don't have a problem with that, according to Bross.
"If it's not the Coyotes, and we hope it is, we're not going to chase the market," Bross said. "You look at what happened last week. Shea Weber signed an offer sheet, but did not go to Philadelphia, and Rick Nash was traded to New York. The whole landscape changed. We have no problem slowing this train down.
"The teams that have been interested in [Doan], have all been great and understanding. No one has put pressure on him looking for an answer. The teams have been a pleasure to deal with."
Doan visited both the Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers when he was in New York for labour meetings. Reportedly, he has plans to visit Montreal.
So, where is Vancouver on his priority list?
"He hasn't visited Vancouver but that's because he's so familiar with the city," Bross said. "He knows all about it, the team, the history, and what it's like to live there. So does his wife.
"It hasn't been a big priority to visit there."
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