Cap­tain Coy­ote

Doan an­nounces re­tire­ment af­ter ca­reer spent with one fran­chise

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JONAS SIEGEL

No mat­ter how un­cer­tain the fu­ture seemed in Phoenix, Shane Doan re­mained com­mit­ted to the Coy­otes.

That’s just the kind of guy he is, ac­cord­ing to the club’s for­mal gen­eral manager.

“When you think of loyal, tough, strong, leader, char­ac­ter, team­mate, all those words come to mind when you think of Shane,” said Don Maloney.

“I think it’s such a credit to who he is as a per­son that through thick and thin, through some very dif­fi­cult times he stood up and said, ‘I’m not go­ing any­where. This works here. This is a great fran­chise. This is a great place to live. We can make it work here.”’

Doan re­tired from the NHL on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, less than three months af­ter the Coy­otes de­cided not to of­fer the 40-year-old a con­tract for the 2017-18 sea­son.

The Al­berta na­tive, who played his en­tire 21-sea­son ca­reer with the Arizona Coy­otes, is the fran­chise leader in games played, goals, as­sists, points, power-play goals and game-win­ning mark­ers. He was drafted sev­enth over­all by the Win­nipeg Jets in 1995, play­ing

one sea­son in the Man­i­toba cap­i­tal be­fore the team shuf­fled off to the desert.

In­sta­bil­ity has plagued the fran­chise with own­er­ship and re­lo­ca­tion trou­bles lin­ger­ing in the back­ground. But the Coy­otes could al­ways count on Doan, who was among the long­est-serv­ing cap­tains in NHL his­tory af­ter tak­ing over from Teppo Num­mi­nen in 2003.

Maloney said he came to view Doan as a part­ner in man­ag­ing the fran­chise through tur­bu­lent times, which in­cluded

bank­ruptcy in 2009. He of­fered a sooth­ing voice in the dress­ing room for team­mates and a re­cruit­ing hand to wary free agents. Above all, Doan chose to stay with the Coy­otes through un­cer­tainty, of­ten for less money.

“His first thought in any­thing that was done – off the ice, on the ice – is how does it af­fect this team, how does it my team­mates and then well down the line, how does it af­fect me? And I think that’s what you want in a cap­tain, to be con­stantly think­ing of team and how to make things bet­ter,” said Maloney, who served as the team’s GM from 2007 to 2016 and is now a mem­ber of the Cal­gary Flames front of­fice.

A two-time all-star, Doan scored at least 20 goals in 13 sea­sons and topped 50 points 11 times with a ca­reer high of 78 points in the 2007-08 sea­son. He won the King Clancy Me­mo­rial tro­phy for lead­er­ship on and off the ice in 2010 and the Mark Messier Lead­er­ship award in 2012.

Doan an­nounced his de­ci­sion to re­tire in an Arizona news­pa­per.

He re­called the ex­cite­ment of his first NHL game on Oct. 7, 1995 – he had two as­sists – and said he “prob­a­bly” knew April 8, 2017, would be his last NHL game.

“I felt an in­de­scrib­able wave of emo­tion to have the sup­port that I’ve had over the years from the fans through­out all of the un­cer­tainty,” Doan wrote in the Arizona Repub­lic. “You have al­ways de­fended me and sup­ported me. Play­ing in front of you has hon­estly been one of the great­est ex­pe­ri­ences of my life.”

Doan, who en­tered the league as a teenager, de­scribed re­tire­ment as “one of the hard­est de­ci­sions I’ve ever had to make.”

AP PHOTO

Arizona Coy­otes for­ward Shane Doan an­nounced his re­tire­ment Wed­nes­day af­ter 21 sea­sons with the same fran­chise.

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