Shane Doan and the Most Loyal Players in the NHL
In sports, players get vilified by the fans and media for doing wrong. These "wrongs" include holding out for more money or going to a different team (looking at you LeBron). It's always the negative and never the positive. The media overshadows the players that stay loyal to a franchise.
Some players in the NHL are very loyal. They've been with their team through the good and the bad. They are the type of player who would take a pay cut if it meant it would make their franchise better. These players also do great charitable work around the community.
However, most of the time these players are overlooked or never even mentioned. Well, I'm here to change that.
Here are Shane Doan and other NHL players who are loyal to their fans, teammates and most importantly their franchise.
1. Shane Doan
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Like some hockey fans, I really wish Shane Doan would make a decision on which team he is going to play for. However, the reason why it's taking so long is because of the history Doan has had with the Phoenix Coyotes organization.
Doan has played 17 seasons in the NHL, all with the Winnipeg/Phoenix organization.
This past season, he helped lead the Coyotes to their best and most successful season ever. Doan was a key to the Coyotes winning their first-ever division title, finishing third in the West and going deep into the playoffs—all the way to the Western Conference finals.
For all the good the Doan has stayed for, there has been plenty of bad. Doan has played through two horrible eras in Phoenix Coyotes' history, the "Gretzky Era" and the "Bankruptcy Era."
Still, up until this offseason, not once have the fans or media heard Doan complain. He has played great hockey throughout his career and has worn the "C" with pride.
With all the garbage Phoenix has been through, they should feel lucky that Doan is still keeping his option open to play with them.
2. Daniel Alfredsson
At 39 years old, Daniel Alfredsson is the longest-tenured captain in the NHL. Alfie gets respect from his teammates and love from the fans.
The fans show love by chanting "Alfie" when the clock strikes 11 minutes during each period.
The Ottawa Senators and Daniel Alfredsson have been through a lot during his tenure. There were the high points such as making the playoffs 11 straight years, winning a Presidents' Trophy in 2003 and making a Stanley Cup appearance in 2007.
However, the past couple of seasons, Ottawa has seen plenty of lows. The franchise has only made the playoffs three times since 2008, losing in the first round each time.
Still, Alfredsson seems content on staying in Ottawa. Late last month the captain announced he will be returning to the team for a 17th season.
3. Martin Brodeur
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Remember this offseason when reports were saying that Martin Brodeur was going to test the free-agency market and possibly be in a new uniform next season?
While those reports were true, it was hard to believe that Marty would leave the place he has called home since 1991-92.
In the end, both sides got what they wanted. The Devils locked up the winningest goalie in NHL history and Brodeur got the two-year stability he desired.
The two are a perfect fit for each other, especially after a successful run in the playoffs, getting all the way to the Stanley Cup finals this year.
As Brodeur stated, "Deep down what I always wanted was to re-sign with New Jersey. I'm glad the Devils stepped up when they did."
Too bad the same couldn't be said by Zach Parise.
4. Dustin Brown
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Dustin Brown has been one of the most consistent players in the NHL, scoring over 45 points since the 2006-07 season.
He does great things off the ice as well, such as extensive charity work around the Los Angeles community, which earned him the NHL Foundation Award in 2011.
However, unlike the players mentioned before him, Brown's time with the Los Angeles Kings was in question last season.
In February, after making a trade for Jeff Carter, the Kings were actively shopping their captain of four years, gaining interest from teams like Boston, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Toronto and a handful of others. Luckily for the Kings, they kept Brown.
He had an exceptional playoff run, scoring 20 points in 20 games and leading the No. 8 seeded Kings to a Stanley Cup victory, the first in the franchise's history.
For a team that was close to trading him, Brown showed great loyalty in leading his team to a Stanley Cup and never giving up.
5. Jarome Iginla
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Not only is he a good fighter, he is one of the better goal scorers in the NHL, scoring 30 or more goals in 11 straight seasons.
Since becoming captain in 2003, Iginla has demonstrated great leadership by leading the Calgary Flames to the Stanley Cup in 2004 and four playoff appearances after that.
Up to this point in his career, Iginla has shown great loyalty to the Flames. He has played his entire career with the franchise, and in 2008 he signed a no-movement clause.
In the community, he shows loyalty by doing generous acts of charity. During the season, he donates $2,000 for every goal he scores during the season.
While Jarome Iginla makes this list, it will be interesting to see if he stays loyal, since this will be his last year under contract (via capgeek) and the Flames have failed to make the playoffs the last three seasons.
6. Vincent Lecavalier
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Vincent Lecavalier has seemed to get overlooked by NHL fans since Steven Stamkos joined the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008. Once dubbed the "Michael Jordan of hockey" by Lightning then-owner Art Williams, Lecavalier has played 13 seasons with the Lightning.
During that time he became the youngest captain at 19 years and 314 days (surpassed by Sidney Crosby later), lost the captaincy one year later, won a Stanley Cup in 2004 and graced the cover of EA Sports: NHL 2006.
He's been pretty consistent on the ice as well, scoring at least 20 goals in 12 straight seasons. Since that time he has also regained the captaincy of the Bolts.
Off the ice he is known for his great charity work in the community. In 2007, he pledged $3 million to build a new all-children's hospital. The pledge won him the NHL Foundation Player Award in 2008. The hospital opened in January of 2010, and is named Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
On July 13th, 2008, Lecavalier signed a deal that would keep him as a member of the Lightning until he turns 40 years old. In 2009 rumors swirled around saying Lecavalier wanted to play in his hometown of Montreal. However, the rumors were quashed.
While he may get overshadowed by Stamkos, Lecavalier is still a great player. He loves Tampa Bay and will continue to call it home until his playing career is over.
7. Henrik Lundqvist
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Much like his rival goaltender Martin Brodeur, it is hard to imagine Henrik Lundqvist in any jersey besides a Rangers jersey.
Since joining the team during the 2005-06 season, Lundqvist has been the anchor of the New York Rangers. This past season, he extended his own record, as he became the first NHL goalie to win at least 30 games in his first seven seasons. He also has the most shutouts by a goaltender in Madison Square Garden.
Off the ice, Lundqvist became the Rangers' spokesman for the Garden of Dreams Foundation, which works with Madison Square Garden and other tenants of the arena to host charitable events and grant wishes to sick children. Also, to benefit the foundation, Lundqvist launched his own clothing line called the Crown Collection.
The Vezina Trophy-winning goalie handles the pressure of New York well on and off the ice, as he is one of the most loyal players in the NHL.
8. Nicklas Lidström
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For 20 years, Nicklas Lidström dedicated himself to the Detroit Red Wings. Known as "The Perfect Human", Lidström's dedication not only paid off for himself, but for the Red Wings as well.
Together, they made the playoffs 20 straight seasons. In that span they won four Stanley Cups.
As an individual, Lidström captured seven Norris Trophies, captaincy for six years and many other accolades, including various Red Wings records and NHL records.
Both sides were loyal to each other for 20 years. All the loyalty paid off, and both sides will miss each other, but will respect what the other has done for them in that span.