Why the Buffalo Sabres Should Not Sign Shane Doan

Roughly a month ago an anonymous Eastern Conference team offered unrestricted free agent Shane Doan a 4 year contract worth $30 million. This past week various sources (including former NHLer Jeremy Roenick) have stated what all Buffalo Sabres fans feared; The Buffalo Sabres were indeed the team that offered Doan that massive contract.

The offer does explain why the Sabres have had a relatively quite offseason. They haven't gone hard after Bobby Ryan, haven't made any major trades (other than Derek Roy) and most importantly they have not resigned Tyler Ennis. If Doan does decide to come to Buffalo it will take care of most of those issues. There will no longer be a need for Ryan and the Sabres will not have enough money to resign Ennis. Right now Terry Pegula is waiting for the cards to fall, but how long will he wait?

Pegula can't wait on Doan much longer. While Doan wants to give the Phoenix Coyotes every last chance, the Sabres can't wait that long. With the impending lockout date of September 15th, the Sabres have just two weeks left to sign Ennis before the "lockout". Ennis must be getting antsy by now, hearing his name come up in multiple trade rumours and now knowing the team he is trying to re-sign with is about to give his salary to a "bigger fish".

Here's four reasons why Shane Doan will not be coming to Buffalo.

  • The Buffalo Sabres offered Doan the massive 4 year deal over a month ago, he still hasn't made up his mind. To make matters even worse, he's visited several teams from both the Eastern and Western conferences, Buffalo was not on the list. Which means no matter how much money the Sabres throw at Doan he's not coming to Buffalo.
  • Doan's cap hit would be roughly $7.5 million. While he may not deserve a monster cap hit like that, any team trying to pry him away from the Coyotes will have to pay a premium. The Sabres have roughly $8.6 million cap-space left. Spending that much on Doan would nearly cripple the future of the Sabres, preventing them from signing developing players like Ennis, Cody Hodgson and Brayden McNabb who will all be looking for pay raises.
  • Doan is looking for a team that he can win with, and I mean win the Stanley Cup. He wants to join a team that is expected to make a deep playoff run and with his help win the Cup. The Sabres are not that team. They missed the playoffs last season and even with Doan's help are not assured a playoff berth. They can't match teams like the New York Rangers or Vancouver Canucks who are one piece away from glory.
  • Lastly the Sabres organization as a hole can't stand another free agent failure. Ville Leino was a no show this year in Buffalo, and immediately many blamed Darcy Regier for paying Leino more than he deserved and Lindy Ruff for not being able to get him going. If Doan does indeed sign on the dotted line and the Sabres have a slow start to the season both Regier and Ruff will be on the hot seat again. It may be the last straw for those two in Buffalo.

While it's nice to think about landing a player of Doan's calibre, when you really analyze the situation you realize it would be better for the Sabres not to land the veteran.

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