More than two months after the same franchise he had spent his entire 21-year NHL career with told him he would not be re-signed for the 2017-18 season, Shane Doan has announced his retirement.
The 40-year-old forward, a first-round draft pick of the then-Winnipeg Jets in 1995 and a veteran of more than 1,500 NHL games, wrote a letter to Coyotes fans in the Arizona Republic on Wednesday confirming he has hung up the skates.
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.
The Coyotes' new sole owner, Andrew Barroway, got under Doan's skin in June when Arizona and its longtime captain parted ways unceremoniously. But the two-time All-Star winger admitted in his Republic piece he knew his final 2016-17 game with the Coyotes "probably was" the last time he would take the ice. And looking back, the forward made it clear he wouldn't have changed anything about his 21-year run with the organization, including its move from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996.
"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," Doan wrote. "But that's exactly what happened. And that's why this has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make."
Doan finished 2016-17, his 13th season as Coyotes captain, with 27 points. He finishes his career with 972 points, having logged 14 20-goal seasons. According to NHL.com, he also becomes one of just nine players in league history to have played at least 21 seasons with the same franchise.