Former Coyote Shane Doan: ‘Could you really ask for anything more?’
The Arizona Coyotes announced that No. 19 will go down in history.
On Feb. 24, Shane Doan’s number will be the first in the franchise to be retired by the team.
But that No. 19 came part by chance, part by seniority, and part because a different future NHL player had the other sweater number available.
“I wish I had a great story that it meant like the world to me in the beginning, but the real, the absolute, 100 percent truth is, I got to Kamloops to play my junior hockey, so I’m 15 years old and I’m the youngest guy on the team besides one other guy,” Doan told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
“So I had second-to-last pick of the numbers that were available. It was between No. 28 and No. 19.”
Scott Niedermayer had No. 28 the year before. It was possible he would come back, and Doan didn’t want Niedermayer’s number.
But No. 19 — that was Joe Sakic’s number. That was Steve Yzerman. That became Shane Doan.
“We all have numbers that we associate with the people that we watched play growing up,” Doan said. “When you hear that number, your first thought is that person.”
The Captain has turned into that for countless fans across the Valley.
“It’s something that I just never ever fathomed, never even crossed my mind,” he said.
As far as individual accomplishments go, getting a number retired by the team is second only to retired in the Hall of Fame.
He never managed the ultimate team goal: The Stanley Cup. But Doan said he doesn’t regret not chasing a championship.
“Could you really ask for anything more than what I’ve already been given? How could you even in the slightest way ask for more, when I’m just so thankful and grateful for everything that I have,” Doan said.
Doan and the Coyotes made the playoffs nine times during his career, including a run to the NHL Conference Finals in 2011-12.
“The chance to go and play for a Stanley Cup would’ve been amazing, and I would’ve loved it,” he said. “For me, it’s like, you know what? The Coyotes are my team, so no one else can ever experience what I had with them, and that’s something that was so special.”
It’s not just the team and the players for Doan. He struggled to find the words when he said appreciates how much the fans gave him.
“My career, by no means was I ever, like, I’m not a superstar,” he said. “I was OK, but I got treated, like, special by the fans. And I’m not naive to that. I’m not naive to the fact that they kind of, I don’t know, a lot of them probably grew up with me is what I realized, so it’s kind of one of those things. But they treated me incredible and I was so grateful and thankful for it.”
The man who spent 20 years in the Valley will get memorialized by the Coyotes.
“What’s it going to be like? I just want to say thank you,” Doan said. “Thank you for giving me the absolute most amazing experience of being able to play in the NHL for a franchise that I love and am the biggest fan of ever.”