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Shane Doan will be an Arizona Coyote no matter where he goes

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Shane Doan’s legacy in Arizona is secure, no matter how or where his career ends.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

That Shane Doan is frustrated with the way his career is winding down with the Arizona Coyotes is completely understandable.

The total calamity that was the 2014-15 season was a serious gut-punch. A hard-nosed negotiation for a one-year contract this summer also felt wrong. And then on top of all of that, Doan - despite registering 28 goals and 12 power play tallies last year. - gets a reduced role on a team that can’t score (though of late Doan has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence). This is not the way the story is supposed to end.

So it is of little surprise that Doan is contemplating a trade request. But if he’s going to waive his no-trade clause it has to be, in his words, “the perfect situation”.

That perfect situation is hard to find, and plenty of players have not been able to pull it off. Mike Modano, Jarome Iginla, and Daniel Alfredsson are a few names who left their long-time homes in search of a Cup.

But there are also players like Marian Hossa, who had to watch the other team lift the Cup twice before he finally broke through with the Chicago Blackhawks, and of course, there is the legendary Ray Bourque, who finished off his Hall of Fame career by raising the Stanley Cup in Colorado after 1,612 NHL games.

I’m sure the entire Coyotes community would love nothing more than seeing Shane Doan’s smiling face lift the Stanley Cup. I’m sure almost the entire community could live with seeing him do it in another uniform, even if it were *shudders* Los Angeles.

But even without Sedona Red on his chest, Shane Doan has Sedona Red in his veins. His on-ice career has exemplified the lunch-pail, rough edged game that defined the early Coyotes. In the process however, he has only been suspended twice in his 21 seasons with the Coyotes.

And as Arizona fans well know, Doan has been a tireless ambassador for hockey in the state of Arizona. Whether it’s his charity work, his positive interactions with fans, his appearances in goofy commercials, or the work ethic that inspired a new generation of hockey players, Doan’s imprint on the Valley hockey scene will continue long after Doan plays his final game. Any story about hockey in the desert will have to devote a fair amount of time to Shane Doan’s impact.

A professional sports career, to paraphrase noted hockey enthusiast Thomas Hobbes, is often “nasty, brutish, and short”. Shane Doan has defied the odds, and will leave the Coyotes as the team’s all-time leader in nearly every offensive category. When and how he leaves is entirely up to him, and if the Coyotes respond to a trade request with anything more than “Thank you for your loyalty, we’ll do everything we can to make it happen”, they’ve said too much.

The Stanley Cup would be a perfect ending to a great NHL career for Shane Doan. But no matter where Doan goes, and no matter whether or not his name is etched on the Cup or his portrait in the Hockey Hall of Fame, this generation of Coyotes fans will always be able to say they watched a champion.