Shane Doan: 4 Reasons Free-Agent Forward Stayed with the Coyotes
Heart, courage, warrior. Three words that many use to describe the veteran right wing of the Phoenix Coyotes. Yes, I said Phoenix Coyotes. The free-agent saga involving the 17-year veteran is over.
Doan just signed a four-year, $21.2 million deal with the Coyotes last week. The money for the wing is an added bonus. Doan gets to stay with the only team he has ever played with in a city he loves. He also is able to maintain the momentum that the Coyotes built last season as he played a critical role for the team on and off the ice.
Many have questioned Doan's motives as he inked this new deal in Phoenix.
The Coyotes are a doomed franchise and are going to move. Why would you stay?
The Coyotes are coming off of a fluke season. They can't repeat their success. Why are you staying?
Other teams offered more money. Why don't you want to secure one last large payday?
The Coyotes will never win a Stanley Cup. Why don't you finish a career with a team that gives you a better chance of hoisting the holy grail of hockey?
This article will explain the four main reasons that Shane Doan decided to remain with the Coyotes.
Shane Doan is a family man. He, his wife Andrea and his four children all make their home in the Valley of the Sun. Some players leave in the offseason to return to their hometowns, but the Doan's have embedded in Phoenix and have claimed many times that the City of Phoenix is home to them.
Doan's children are all young, and moving children to a new city once they have become ingrained in school would be difficult. His wife likes it here, and he has mandated consistently that his family comes first.
Doan and his family are more than comfortable here and at this point of his career; his family and their wishes outweighed money and success.
Shane Doan might be the most loyal man in all of sports. The front office believed it. His teammates believed it. Fans believed it. There was no way that Doan, the face of the franchise, was going to leave Phoenix for anywhere else. It came down to faith and hope in the only team he has ever known.
It does not matter that the team might move to another city soon, although he really hopes it doesn't.
It didn't matter that the ownership situation in Phoenix has been the most screwed-up ownership situation in all of sports over the past few years.
It didn't matter that the Coyotes weren't bringing in top-notch talent to join Doan in his quest to lift Lord Stanley's Cup.
It didn't matter that the Coyotes couldn't match others valuations of the veteran forward and offered him less money than other teams during free agency?
Shane Doan is a Coyote. He has spilled blood, sweat and tears for the franchise that he has captained for the past eight years. He was not ready to pack up and leave because he cares for the franchise, loves his teammates, truly respects his coach and honors his profession.
Shane Doan is a leader. Leaders don't bail during a crisis. Many felt that Doan should pack up his things and head to a team that is in a stable situation and gives him an immediate chance to win a Stanley Cup.
Doan maintained during the free-agent period that he was not going to leave Phoenix unless the situation became dire. In Doan's mind, the situation never became dire and that is why he stayed. He is a man of his word. He is accountable for his actions and he leads by example.
Doan's team absolutely loves him. Goaltender Mike Smith felt it would be an absolute tragedy if he left. In fact, Doan's signing combined with Sean Burke's contract extension as goaltending coach and front office member makes it more likely that Smith signs an extension once the lockout ends.
Doan's leadership is unquestioned in the locker room. Since being named captain in the 2003-04 season, Doan has absorbed all that a struggling franchise could throw at him with class and dignity. He has always stated that he believed that the franchise could turn itself around and make a run at the Stanley Cup and they did just that last season.
It's very difficult to find someone who has played with Shane Doan over the years saying anything negative about him. He is the consummate team player and professional that every organization craves.
The Coyotes are lucky to have him.
You rarely see a player who embodies what Shane Doan is all about.
On the ice: fearless, motivated, ferocious, uncompromising
Off the ice: kind-hearted, giving, family-oriented, average guy
All of those adjectives are used quite frequently when talking about the 6'2", 228 lb. native of Halkirk, Alberta. What Doan lacks in hardware (trophies), he more than makes up for in what he means to the people of the Valley of the Sun.
His work ethic is unmatched. He is frequently one of the first player's in the door and one of the last players out of it.
His desire to succeed is tough to understand. Many of his teammates marvel at the lengths Doan will go to, to help his teammates achieve success.
His value as a teammate is often understated. Even though many talk about Doan as a great leader, his overall value to the team and the franchise might be unmatched in all of hockey.
While Doan has cemented his legacy in Phoenix by getting them out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last season, he seeks to be the leader of the team that reaches the pinnacle of success in this wonderful sport.
If Doan was able to bring the Stanley Cup to the desert, he would achieve legend status in the community. While he is already well-regarded by anyone who he seems to have come across in the Valley, the arrival of Lord Stanley's Cup would elevate him to the top of the current heap of Valley sports heroes.
Many might argue this. Many say that hockey doesn't work in the desert, that the team needs to relocate. Many would even say that we don't deserve a Stanley Cup here because we are not a true hockey town. Others would argue that nobody in Phoenix would even care if they won the Cup.
All are somewhat valid points if you look at attendance numbers, revenue, etc. But without Shane Doan pledging his future to the Coyotes, there truly might not be a team in the desert after this season. Without Shane Doan out in the community giving the Coyotes a great face of the franchise, those that are showing up, might not be. Without Shane Doan's jovial off-ice demeanor, he wouldn't be the media darling that this team so desperately needs him to be to draw interest. Finally, without Doan, the Coyotes would not have the on-ice leader that has lead them to their recent successes.
Doan means so much to the Valley and its hockey community that he might not even know how much he is valued. Knowing the type of selfless guy that he is, you would never hear it from him if he did know.