Arizona Coyotes‘ Shane Doan, franchise’s all-time leading goal scorer, has announced his retirement on Wednesday. The announcement about his retirement from NHL came via a letter to Coyotes fans published on AZ Central.
“I’m so grateful and thankful to the Winnipeg Jets for drafting me and giving me a chance to play my rookie season and when the team moved to the Valley in 1996, all I wanted to know was if the Coyotes would keep giving me a chance to play. Against their better judgment, they did and that first game as a Phoenix Coyote was exciting, ” said Doan in the letter.
Doan went on to play 21 seasons with the Arizona Coyotes and became all-time leading player in goals, assists, games played and points. He is currently tied for the 14th place of NHL players with most games played in the league (1,540). Doan’s honors and awards include King Clancy Memorial Trophy, Mark Messier Leadership Award, and alongside 2 times National Hockey League All-Star Game selections (2004 and 2005). On an international level, Shane Doan won 2 gold and 3 silver medals on World Championship with Team Canada.
“I could not fathom at the time that I would end up playing in Arizona for the next 21 years, raise a family and call this place home. But that’s exactly what happened. And that’s why this has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I’m retiring from the NHL.” – Doan finished his letter.
After Doan’s annunciation, Coyotes issued a statement on their official page thanking Doan for everything he has done for the franchise.
“On behalf of the entire Arizona Coyotes organization, our fans, and our corporate partners, we would like to thank Shane for everything that he’s done for our franchise over the past 21 years. Shane had an incredible career on the ice and we are very proud of everything that he accomplished in a Coyotes uniform. He will be remembered as one of the greatest captains in NHL history. Off the ice, Shane was a great ambassador for growing the game of hockey in Arizona and his contributions to the community are immeasurable. Shane will be a Coyote for life. Thank you Captain!“
Doan was on the verge of retiring after the 2014-15 season but decided against it which turned out to be a good decision since he led the Coyotes in scoring (19 goals) in the 2015-2016 season. Last season wasn’t as productive and he managed to score just 6 times.