Sometimes it's nice to have a fan as the owner of a professional team. You know his heart'll always be in the right place, and he'll do what he thinks is in the franchise's best interest. No absent ownership with him — but sometimes they have the propensity to think like a fan, and that's what gets you into trouble. Witness the Buffalo Sabres.
Their owner, Terry Pegula, loves the team very much. It's obvious. What is also obvious is that he's not sure what he's doing when it comes to cap management. The Sabres are $8,657,977 below the cap with 23 players signed. That's well and good, but he's offered the summer's current free agent du jour a contract that'd eat most of that space up. The Sabres have offered Shane Doan a four year, $30 million contract that'd pay Doan $7.5 million a season, making him the team's highest paid player. Keep in mind that, as excellent of a leader as Doan is and as good of a hockey player that he is, he's also 35 years old.
Is a contract of that length and amount feasable for someone his age? Of course not. It's a 35+ contract, so the team'll be on the hook for it after Doan retires if that comes before the end of the term. To put this into perspective, Doan is seven years older than the Sabres' current highest cap hit, Thomas Vanek, who also only has two years left on his contract.
It's understandable why the Sabres, or any other team for that matter, want Doan. What isn't understandable is the amount that they're willing to spend to get him. The owners are obviously in a hurry to get their big signings before the CBA expires, and the players are in a hurry to sign. One thing that Buffalo isn't taking into consideration is that the salary cap might drop under the new CBA, meaning that they're going to have to shed salary if they were to sign Doan. That means they're going to have to make a judgement call as to if Doan's worth it, and right now they're appearing to be making the wrong decision.