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Doan dealing with CBA issues and Coyotes ownership issues

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TSN.ca Staff
11/2/2012 2:56:13 PM
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For Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan, the NHL's off-ice issues these days is hitting him from two fronts.

On one hand, the lockout - hitting its 48th day on Friday - is preventing him and his teammates from taking to the ice. At the other end is the continuing ownership saga with the Phoenix Coyotes.

"You just try to cross each bridge when you get to them," Doan told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on ESPN.com. "I know that's kind of cheesy but that's what it is. You hope both situations get done soon."

The NHL Players' Association maintains that its players shouldn't be held responsible for to pay for money-losing franchises such as Phoenix through reduced player costs in a new CBA. 

But Doan still believes Phoenix can work.

"People may think this sounds naive, but I really do believe it can work here," he told LeBrun. "And I know people don't believe that. But in the last three years, (the NHL, which is operating the team, has) done absolutely nothing outside of running hockey ops.

"We've had zero ability to build off what we've done on the ice the last three years because every summer it's the same: 'Are we leaving? Are we staying?'" said Doan. "And this time we make it to the conference finals and we generate real excitement and then we get the lockout and we're talking about staying or leaving again."

Doan was also in the short bargaining session Toronto two weeks ago when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners rejected all three of the NHLPA's counteroffers.

"I was glad I was in the room," Doan told LeBrun. "It was important. I wanted to be there, it was interesting to see how it went and how it works. And in that particular moment we had agreed to come down to 50-50. That was a fairly large concession by the players. From watching when Gary walked out and said, 'They took a step backwards.' That galvanized the players."

Doan also understands where both sides of the bargaining table stand and realizes the fundamental differences between the 2004-05 lockout and the one that is currently putting the game in a holding pattern.

"It's just more about the money grab," he said. "And, in a way, that's encouraging as a player in the fact that I think eventually something will get done because it's more about just how much money they can get than it is about the systemic problems they were talking about earlier on. It really comes down to how much money they can grab, and I understand that."

The NHL and Players Association could be back at the bargaining table soon, as NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says he expects talks to resume in the "relatively near future." 

"People may not believe this, but the players are the biggest fans of the game there is," said Doan. "We care so much about the game. We've sacrificed a lot for it. We want this deal done so badly."

Shane Doan (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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