GLENDALE, Ariz -- The Coyotes 2011-2012 season came to an end Tuesday evening when the Kings’ overtime heroics derailed Phoenix’s Stanley Cup dreams.
On Thursday, the 2012-2013 season began with all eyes on one man, captain Shane Doan.
“Certainly Shane is priority number one,” Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said.
“The biggest issue to me is getting him committed to us. I would rather not have Shane enter free agency. I’m afraid of what might happen out there,” Maloney added.
It was apparent that Maloney is not the only one who wants to see Doan with a “C” on his Coyotes sweater next year.
“Well I would say that would be the consensus throughout the whole organization," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett added when asked about Doan. “Management, coaches, trainers, fans, everybody.”
Doan was very unworried on his contract situation.
“Yeah, that is something we will know when everything is sorted out with the team.” Doan said. “It hasn’t been a distraction and we will get it done.”
Currently, the Coyotes have six unrestricted free agents on their roster: Shane Doan, Taylor Pyatt, Daymond Langkow, Michal Rozsival, Adrian Aucion and Ray Whitney.
Whitney is also high up on the priority list for Maloney.
“With Ray we need to see where he wants to go in his career.” Maloney stated. “Does he want to stay? Certainty. Would we sign him? Of course we would sign him. Without question.”
Coming into the 2012-2013 season, Tippett and goalie Mike Smith are in the final year of their respective contracts.
The extension of Tippett and Smith will likely come as soon as the ownership situation is resolved and hopefully will be taken care of before the regular season begins. However, before the Coyotes resign any of their free agents they have to look at their needs.
“Up front is an area we have to look at,” Maloney said. “Our power play was the Achilles for us all season and ultimately game 5.”
One player who would be a perfect fit addressing the Coyotes needs would be New Jersey Devils Captain Zach Parise who is an unrestricted free agent after this season as well.
However, Parise will not come cheap, especially if he takes the Devils to the Stanley Cup.