Shane Doan’s retirement announcement didn’t come as a surprise to me. I had just been thinking about it yesterday during class, thinking about what I would say and how I would address it. Factually at first, tell the news, be the reporter that I am learning to be. Then, I would allow myself to be emotional about it. Get it off my chest so I can be objective again.
Shane Doan is one of the major reasons why hockey is still growing in Arizona. Last pre-season we spoke to him about the growth of hockey and the passion in his voice never left during the entire conversation.
Without Shane Doan, the Toronto Maple Leafs may not have their young stud center. Auston Matthews started to play hockey because of the Doan and Daniel Brieré Phoenix Coyotes. Matthews even tweeted about Doan’s retirement today.
My childhood idol growing up. Amazing player and an even better person. Congrats on an unbelievable career Doaner !— Auston Matthews (@AM34) August 30, 2017
Doan was a polarizing player, all Coyotes fans know that. He had to adapt his game to the new NHL every ten years or so. He was not the cleanest player, we all know it, but he was an amazing person off the ice. He was Arizona hockey for the longest time.
Shane Doan holds all of the scoring/points records for the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes/Arizona Coyotes franchise (402-570-972). (No, 2.0 you still cannot have our history.) He was the last player in the NHL who played with the Winnipeg Jets, this is the end of an actual era.
A Valley native, former Coyotes draft pick and now Tucson Roadrunner, Zac Larraza wrote a poignant post in April about Shane Doan after his last game as a Coyote. Larraza is an example of Arizona hockey growing with the growth of the Coyotes.
To someone I've looked up to since I can remember pic.twitter.com/C8lEvEOVFB— Zac Larraza (@zacLarraza16) April 9, 2017
But it’s also the start of a new one. The players that he has mentored over the last five seasons or so are ready to step up and take on bigger roles within the team. The probable new captain, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, has been with the team full time since 2011-12; the year they made the run for the Stanley Cup Final. Ekman-Larsson will be a different kind of leader than Doan, but he should make him proud nonetheless.
It will be hard moving on without Shane Doan in the line up, for fans and the team. A constant for the last 21 seasons, it’s scary to think about what is to come. The team is full of very young, but talented players.
The oldest players are now Brad Richardson and Alex Goligoski, and they are just 32 years old.
Doan doesn’t have any Stanley Cups or fancy scoring titles. He didn’t score like his good friend Jarome Iginla. He was a playmaker, a power forward and a great leader. He has represented Canada more times than I can count.
He may not be a Hall of Fame candidate to most, but one day, he could see the hall. Until then, he will still be honored by all of the Coyotes fans in Arizona and around the world.
Now we wait to see when his number goes to the rafters, as no one can replace our number 19 on the ice or in our hearts.