PHOENIX, AZ—20-year Arizona Coyotes veteran, Shane Doan, announced his retirement from the NHL on Wednesday, August 30. The 40 year-old told reporters that he “knew it was the right time.”
Last season, Doan had 27 points (six goals and 21 assists) in 74 games along with a minus-3 rating and 48 penalty minutes. He became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, during which Arizona decided against re-signing him.
Doan, a right winger from Halkirk, Alberta, is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 223 pounds. The Winnipeg Jets selected him seventh overall in 1995, the year in which he commenced his professional career. He previously played for the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL.
After one year with Winnipeg, he was traded to Phoenix (now Arizona) in 1996. He was appointed team captain in 2003-2004, a position he would hold until the end of this past season.
Doan has played in 1,540 regular-season games and has 972 points, comprised of 402 goals and 570 assists. He exceeds Winnipeg and Arizona’s franchises in each area listed. He also has a minus-54 rating and 1353 penalty minutes. Doan made 55 playoff appearances and collected 28 points (13 goals and 15 assists), a minus-3 rating, and 85 penalty minutes.
“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, a husband and father of four, said in a statement.
“One of my favorite parts of playing hockey is hearing the national anthems while standing on the blue line quietly as I think about the upcoming game, pray and say thanks. I’ll never forget this particular ritual, gazing up at the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and realizing, ‘I’m an NHLer,'” Doan wrote in a letter to fans, published by AZCentral.
Growing up in Scottsdale, AZ, Auston Matthews, center for the Toronto Maple Leafs and 2016-2017 rookie of the year, watched Doan play throughout his childhood. In fact, Matthews developed a love for hockey by watching the Coyotes play in his youth.
NHL.com disclosed that Matthews had a poster of Doan hanging in his bedroom, spent time with him on and off the ice, and participated in the opening face-off against him in the Maple Leafs vs. Coyotes game on December 23, 2016. That night was Don’s 1,500th career game, in which he also scored his 400th career goal.
“I loved him growing up. He was my idol. Then getting to know him, he’s such an unbelievable person. As good as he is on the ice, the person he is off the ice really exemplifies everything about him. I’m pretty sad to see it, but he gives it his all and he’s been with that organization for 21 years and he’s made a big impact on and off the ice,” Matthews said.
Matthews added in a tweet, “Congrats on an unbelievable career Doaner!”