Shane Doan grateful for opportunity to stay with Phoenix Coyotes
Loyalty is not synonymous with free agency in professional sports and athletes often take the contract from the highest bidder when deciding where to sign.
Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan is not the norm; he is the exception to the rule. The veteran winger signed a four-year, $21.2 million contract with the Coyotes Friday, rejecting an offer from the Vancouver Canucks.
Doan's decision undoubtedly makes him a glowing example to his peers, fans and the hockey community, but he told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Show Friday why he decided to stay in Phoenix.
"I really believe in the group of guys that we have in the room," Doan said. "I do believe that we have an opportunity to win here and having an opportunity to win with this group means so much more to me than having an opportunity to win pretty much anywhere else."
Despite the ongoing ownership saga surrounding the Coyotes, Doan felt significant ties to management, head coach Dave Tippett and his teammates. He has spent his entire career with the Coyotes organization.
But, he realized if he didn't re-sign, his past devotion to the team could have potentially harmed the organization going forward.
"I was definitely aware of the fact that maybe to a certain degree my loyalty might have been working against the Coyotes, where if I were to leave it would be even more of a mark against the organization and against the club just because I have stuck there through a lot of the other stuff," Doan explained.
Doan also acknowledged feeling a sense of responsibility to keeping the Coyotes in Phoenix and didn't want to be held accountable if the team he had given so much to, ultimately wasn't able to survive.
"I don't think anybody wants to be in a situation where they work hard to build something to feel like you could have been one of the things that in the end caused it to fall," Doan stated.
Doan said that while the ownership situation did play a role in his decision, it was not the defining matter. He was honored by the interest other clubs around the league showed him, but in the end, his heart belonged to the Coyotes.
"It was pretty flattering sometimes," Doan said. "The whole time my goal was to stay a Coyote and to come back here and if there was hope of a team working here that I was going to come back here.
"The best fit for me was here and I was pretty confident in that," Doan said.
The Coyotes captain is humbled by the outpouring of support from the fans and hopes they'll do whatever it takes to keep the team in the Valley of the Sun.
"I am very grateful and thankful that I got the opportunity to continue to play here," Doan said. "I want [the fans] to put pressure on the city of Glendale to get this thing done."
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