Doan announces retirement after career spent with one franchise
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.”
Arizona Coyotes forward Shane Doan announced his retirement Wednesday after 21 seasons with the same franchise.