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After 1,540 regular-season games and 55 postseason games with the only NHL franchise he has ever known, Arizona Coyotes right winger Shane Doan is calling it a career.
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The #Coyotes Shane Doan breaks news of retirement on front page of @azcsports https://t.co/b7r9iqCYzV
John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station reported Doan retired despite interest from the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars and New York Rangers.
Doan told Gambadoro that a team offered him a contract, but he decided against moving his family to take on what may have been a minimal role with another team.
Doan became one of the faces of the Coyotes franchise since it drafted him No. 7 overall in 1995 back when they were the Winnipeg Jets, and he thanked the home crowd after the final game of the 2016-17 season.
“I love the game,” he said after the contest against the Minnesota Wild, per the Associated Press (h/t USA Today). “I love to play and I want to keep playing. But I also have to understand sometimes things move on, and it’s sometimes better to leave when people think you can still play. Other times, it’s better to play until they drag it off your back. I go back and forth on that.”
In June, the Coyotes announced that they would not offer Doan a contract to return to the team in 2017-18.
Doan dealt with injury concerns and a lesser role in 2016-17 and finished with just 27 points on six goals and 21 assists. Still, he ends his career with 972 points on 402 goals and 570 assists as one of the best offensive playmakers the Coyotes ever utilized.
He enjoyed 14 seasons with more than 40 points, highlighted by back-to-back campaigns from 2007-08 through 2008-09 with more than 70, and helped lead the team to the 2012 Western Conference Final.
Doan was also a 2004 and 2009 All-Star and took home the 2009-10 King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarian contribution.
While he showed flashes of his old self last season, he would have been 41 years old throughout the 2017-18 campaign. He could have offered veteran leadership and postseason experience for a team looking to make the playoffs after missing out the last five seasons, but he wasn’t the same playmaker he was in his prime.
He will forever be a franchise pillar after 21 seasons.