Last week Booje asked me this…
"Struds – you need to give us an insider perspective. What role does ‘attitude’ play in the decisions made by coaches? Are there many attitude problems in the NHL or are they rare?"
It depends where you are in the food chain. If you are a top end player you can get away with a less then stellar attitude. Most coaches (but not all) will overlook it so long as you keep playing at a high level. I think in the long run, letting this type of player roll with a bad attitude will come back to bite you. He will drag down the team. Every player doesn’t have to love the coach but he must respect him and the rest of the team.
If you are a bottom feeder in the food chain a bad attitude will kill you. When playing eight minutes a night a coach doesn’t want to see you moping or complaining. A bottom feeder is just too easy to replace and can be in a hurry.
There are some bad attitudes in the league. Sometimes peer pressure helps these guys change. The locker room can do that, it brings guys down a few notches when required. If they don’t change they often drift from team to team.
The Vancouver Canucks should be putting together a package for this player. He is the captain of the Phoenix Coyotes, a big body who can score and a fierce competitor. He has a no movement clause and the Coyotes are sitting in a playoff spot; two pretty big hurdles, but I think he could put the Canucks over the top if they get him.
Doan has played his entire career in Phoenix. He has been very loyal but now is the time for him to go after a Stanley Cup. He is unrestricted after this season. He played his junior hockey in Kamloops so he would be very familiar with the city. The Bruins, Rangers and Flyers are all strong possibilities to advance to the final. They are big, strong teams. A player like Doan would help the Canucks match up better. (assuming the Canucks make it to the final). A second line of Booth, Kesler and Doan would be a handful.
There is a window that contending teams have to take a run at a cup. This should be the year the Canucks go for it.