Shane Doan will officially engrave himself in the hearts of the Arizona Coyotes forever as his jersey will be the first to hang at Gila River Arena.
The former captain of the Coyotes’ franchise will have his No. 19 jersey retired on February 24, 2019, against the Winnipeg Jets. A very fitting contest against the team that drafted Doan in 1995, then eventually folded into the Phoenix Coyotes.
The announcement comes almost an exact year after the Albertan retired from the NHL. Free agency last summer only reminded Doan that he wanted to be remembered as a Coyote, according to reports from CBS.
"In closing the book on a summer stint in free agency and a two-decade career, Doan emphasized that he’ll forever be remembered as a Coyote — and that’s exactly what he wants."
Icons of the Arizona Coyotes have been Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick and Teppo Numminen. Bobby Hull, Thomas Steen and Dale Hawerchuk are remembered for their contributions to the Jets, but they still feature in the Coyotes’ Ring of Honor. It’s a remarkable set of names for Doan to feature alongside.
Loyalty has paid off for the current 41-year-old. 21 seasons within the same franchise has seen Doan total a career stat-line of 402-570-972. The captain of Arizona for 13 seasons led to Doan winning the Mark Messier Leadership Award after the Coyotes’ magnificent 2011-12 campaign.
Doan has represented the Coyotes on an international level with Canada, as well as playing in a pair of All-Star games. His 1540 total career games is currently tied for 14th on the NHL all-time list.
Doan, of course, is very excited at the recent announcement when telling the NHL website the following:
"“It’s a huge honor,” Doan said. “To join the players who already have their names and numbers hanging inside the arena – the Jets players from before the move and some of my former teammates – is pretty special for me. Teppo Numminen, Keith Tkachuk and Jeremy Roenick are guys I played with for years and always admired, always looked up to, and always tried to emulate. So, just thinking about having my name and number placed alongside theirs is something I have a hard time even comprehending or reacting to with words. I’m really grateful.”"
The news does more than just honor a legend in Doan. Hanging Doan’s jersey upon the rafters of Gila River Arena closes the chapter of a very long era with Doan, while opening a new chapter of exciting Coyotes hockey in the future.
Doan has done a host of things not only for the Arizona Coyotes, but for the game of hockey in Arizona itself. There’s too much to list in an article’s length as to what Doan has accomplished with a franchise that he has grown with since the beginning.
The hope in all of this has to be a setting of example for the younger players of the current Coyotes’ team. There’s a lot of leading potential on the squad at the moment, and watching Doan’s jersey raising to the top of the arena should set reminders of what loyalty, hard work and determination can do for both the player and the franchise.
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