GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Shane Doan has never been traded, never been waved, never turned down a contact offer from the team that drafted him 16 years ago. But today, he's facing his old team.
The Phoenix Coyotes, who arrived from Winnipeg in 1996, tonight welcome the new Jets – not the same as the old Jets – in a weird situation. The Jets, who came from Atlanta this summer, face the Coyotes, who still have a few of the old Jets like Doan, equipment chief Stan Wilson and Director of Public Relations Rich Nairn in the organization now with firmly entrenched lives in the Arizona desert.
Doan, who had seven goals and 17 points in his first and only season in Manitoba, said he was "incredibly glad" to see a team back in Winnipeg. But he's also glad that team didn't come from Arizona, where the ownership situation remains in flux and the future remains uncertain.
He is in the final year of his contract, and he and general manager Don Maloney have agreed to table extension talks aimed at having him finish his career with the Coyotes in hopes that one of two interested suitors complete a deal to buy the team from the NHL.
Meanwhile in Winnipeg, there is a packed building, a huge waiting list for tickets and a stable situation with new ownership.
"You look at the emotion, the attachment, the passion … the opportunity (for Winnipeg) to get a team back is special and for them to have that chance is going to be a lot of fun," Doan said. "Our team and our organization is connected to them and that makes it pretty special. They gave me the opportunity to play in the NHL and I will always be grateful for the incredible opportunity to play there."
Doan is also one goal away from 300 in his career after getting three in the first three games, all on the road this season. He capped a 5-2 win in Nashville Thursday with an empty-netter to give Phoenix a 1-1-1 road trip and spoil the Predators' home opener.
Now the skate is on the other foot: the Coyotes will be dealing with the pomp and circumstance of a home opener and must compose their emotions and channel it into a good start. Phoenix scored three times in the first period against Nashville and never looked back.
Here's a look at the projected lineups:
Ray Whitney - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan
Mikkel Boedker - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata
Taylor Pyatt - Boyd Gordon -Lauri Korpikoski
Paul Bissonnette - Peterri Nokelainen - Raffi Torres
Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Rostislav Klesla - David Schlemko
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Adrian Aucoin
Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Mark Scheifele - Kyle Wellwood
Brett MacLean - Alexander Burmistrov - Nik Antropov
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn
Johnny Oduva - Dustin Byfuglien
Tobias Enstrom - Ron Hainsey
Mark Stuart - Zach Bogosian