April 27, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) looks on in game one of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Could Doan Help The Jets?


May 22, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) looks on after crashing into Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) and the net during the first period of game five of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena. The Kings beat the Coyotes 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Shane Doan is reportedly looking for a 4-year $30M deal to leave the desert. It’s a chunk of change to be sure, and at a cap hit of 7.5, not every team can make the veteran power forward fit on their roster.

But the Winnipeg Jets could.

According to Capgeek.com, the Jets have over $19M in cap space. At 35 years of age, Doan isn’t as fleet of foot as he was when the Jets drafted him seventh overall in the 1995 Entry Draft. But what he lacks in speed, he makes up for in tenacity, hustle and veteran leadership. His work ethic alone would make him worth the cash.

Mar 28, 2012; Winnipeg, MB, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save off a shot from Winnipeg Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov (8) during the first period at the MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE

Many teams are looking at Shane Doan as a possible final piece to their Stanley Cup puzzle. The Jets aren’t in that conversation yet, but Doan could still teach this team a lot. Young players like Evander Kane and Alexander Burmistrov being the Jets’ two highly skilled assets with the most to learn. Even Dustin Byfuglien could pick up a thing or two about how to put on a show night in and night out for 82 games.

Young players aren’t always on the same page as their veteran counterparts. They can play the game with a sense of entitlement and a lack of training. A player like Burmistrov is used to playing at a high level in any league he’s played in. Skill alone allows the sniper to excel, work ethic or no. Straight skill is why he was picked eighth overall by the Thrashers in the 2010 Entry Draft. And a lack of effort is what put him in coach Claude Noel’s doghouse more than once last season.

Considering that Twitter was abuzz with Burmistrov to Russia reports, Doan might be the perfect solution to lighting a fire under the Jets’ streaky Russian scorer.

Last week Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) reported that Burmistrov was interested in playing in Russia for his former team, Ak Bars.

Quote: ‏@dchesnokov
#KHL Ak Bars coach tells club's website #Jets' forward Burmistrov (who is currently practicing w/AK Bars) may come back to RUS next year.
Quote: @dchesnokov
#KHL Ak Bars coach also claims #Jets' Burmistrov "has the desire to play for Ak Bars."

Combine a likely NHL work-stoppage with Burmistrov already practicing with his old KHL team and it’s possible that Burmistrov’s days as a Jet, or an NHLer at all, are numbered. But for now let’s assume that Burmistrov will honor the final year of his contract.

Shan Doan, a player who gives it his all on every shift, is exactly what the Jets need to help teach the kids. Kane and Burmistrov are pure scorers, and learning a thing or two from Doan would certainly help. Not to mention helping to ignite the other veterans that the Jets brought in this summer. Olli Jokinen and Alexei Ponikarovsky could also see offensive boosts if the team were to be rounded out with a workhorse like Shane Doan. A blend of gifted youth and wily vets has always been a recipe for success in the NHL.

There’s no shortage of interest in Doan around the league, and it’s hard to imagine the 35-year old not playing in the desert, but wouldn’t it be nice to see him finish his career in the city where he played his rookie year way back in ’95-’96?

Tags: Burmistrov Dmitry Chesnokov Shane Doan Winnipeg Jets

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