Arizona Coyotes’ forward Shane Doan is beginning his 21st season with the franchise; 13 of which he has served as the captain.
When talking about Arizona Coyotes Captain Shane Doan, one statement always turns up in conversation.
He led the team in goal-scoring in 2015-16 and continues to be one of the most respected players, not only in the Coyotes organization but throughout the NHL.
Doan is questioned relentlessly for his decision to stay in the desert.
With the Coyotes missing playoffs for the 4th season in a row, and a history of struggling with ownership, arenas, and filling the stadium, Doan simply responds that, “This organization drafted me to win a Stanley Cup, and I still plan to deliver on my end of the bargain.”
There simply is no other athlete in Arizona sports as respected as Doan.
After continuously enduring issues with what at times has seemed to be a plagued organization, he still stays loyal and true to the fans. The captain and fans have been through hell and back.
It may not seem like it to the outsiders, but the desert has been good to Doan.
He wouldn’t leave to chase a Cup when he has built a reputation, a home and tradition here in the desert.
That tradition is family.
The Coyotes pride themselves on building the pack and playing as a team instead of as individual players. Head Coach Dave Tippett does an exceptional job making sure that stays true each and every season. It’s people like Doan and Tippett that make players and fans around the league want to join this young organization.
Doan is the face of everything the organization represents and stands for. He’s the face of what they’re striving to become.
There’s the non-traditional way of playing the game. Arizona Coyotes’ President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said, “We are unique. We have a unique fan base. You sit in the middle of a desert that is 100 degrees and it doesn’t breed hockey on a regular basis… It’s a state of hockey mentality.”
The motto we aren’t your “dad’s original six hockey team” runs true with this organization as a whole.
We are different.
Doan had multiple offers when he went up on the free-agency block. He told those teams to not waste their time, because he wasn’t going anywhere. Shane plans to retire a Coyote. Like any hockey player, he dreams of hoisting the Cup here at home.
He also wants to retire knowing he did all he could for the team, and part of that includes forming the new core.
Shane Doan will eventually be leaving behind a strong foundation; with youngsters like Max Domi and Anthony Duclair who are hungry for the Cup themselves. Unsung heroes such as Louis Domingue, Connor Murphy, and Tobias Rieder also support the core and give 110% on the ice.
Doan is instilling this team with what it truly means to be part of the Arizona Coyotes.
Examples like that are what inspired players like Auston Matthews and other youth in the state of Arizona to work hard on and off the ice. His personality and genuine love for the game and those around him sparks a fire in others.
It makes people want to be like him. It pushes players to play and lead like him.
Shane Doan teaches kids that you can be a professional and still maintain your values, all while playing the game you love. If you see Shane Doan on the street or maybe at Ice Den Scottsdale, he’s got a huge smile on his face and is kind to anyone who approaches.
There is an unpayable debt owed to Shane Doan for all that he has done for hockey in the desert. That debt is shared by the fans, the Arizona Coyotes organization, and the players who will come after him.
Doan has been and continues to be a true inspiration for all who meet and watch him.