Shane Doan hangs up the skates after 21 years in the NHL`

Forward Shane Doan of the Arizona Coyotes has decided to hang up the skates on his NHL career after more than two decades in the world’s best hockey league. The 40-year-old may not be completely done with hockey though. There’s always a chance the former Arizona captain could suit up for Canada at the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Doan, who hails from Halkirk, Alberta, was one of the few players to spend an entire 20-plus year career with just one franchise. He was drafted seventh overall by the original Winnipeg Jets club back in 1995 and remained with the team when it relocated to Phoenix just a year later.

Doan was an unrestricted free agent this summer and was told by the Coyotes that they wouldn’t be re-signing him. However, it may have surprised some fans that another team didn’t take a chance on the veteran right-winger, especially considering his excellent leadership qualities. Doan actually announced his retirement via a notice in the Arizona Republic newspaper and claimed it was a very difficult decision to come to. He completed his final NHL season earlier this year with six goals and 27 assists for 33 points in 74 games in his 13th campaign as the team’s captain.

In total, Doan appeared in 1,540 regular-season NHL games and racked up 402 goals and 570 assists for 972 points and served 1,353 penalty minutes. Those numbers make him the all-time franchise leader in points, games played, goals, assists, game-winners and power-play goals. He played in just 55 playoff contests though as he was often a member of relatively-weak squads and chipped in with 15 goal and 13 assists for 28 points and spent 85 minutes in the penalty box.

Only eight other NHL players have managed to suit up for 21 years with the same club with just three of them playing more games than Doan. These were Alex Delvecchio, Nicklas Lidstrom and Gordie Howe, who were all former Detroit Red Wings. Doan’s 1,540 games splayed currently ranks him 14th all-time in league history. The Coyotes thanked their former captain for everything he did off the ice and achieved on it for the franchise by releasing a media statement shortly after he retired.

Doan was never a high-scoring superstar, but was a consistent scorer and playmaker who always stood up for his teammates. He reached the 20-goal mark 13 times and broke the 50-point barrier on 11 occasions. Doan also represented the Coyotes in two All-Star Games and he was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for the 2009/10 campaign, which goes to the player who shows the best leadership qualities both on and off the ice and who has also contributed significantly to humanitarian causes in his community. He also won the Mark Messier Leadership Award for 2011/12.

Doan admitted that he wasn’t the most skilled player on his team, let alone the league, and thanked the fans for sticking by him through the Coyotes’ ups and downs. He said he greatly appreciates and loved and respect he received in Arizona and will certainly miss his teammates, club employees, friends, the fans and the community in general. Ironically, the only player from the 1995 draft to score more points than Doan is Jarome Iginla, and the free agent forward may also wind up on the 2018 Olympic squad with Doan.