Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan has been named a finalist for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, the Coyotes announced Monday in a press release.
“It’s an honor to be nominated for the Mark Messier Leadership Award,” said Doan in the press release. “Anytime you are mentioned along with Mark Messier, it’s an incredible honor.”
The yearly award honors an individual as a superior leader in hockey and as a contributing member of society.
Messier won’t find a better candidate than Doan.
On the ice, Captain Coyote has been the rock in a sea of uncertainty. In the face of rumors about the NHL-owned team possibly being relocated, Doan has seemingly kept the entire organization focused on the game, helping last year’s team to their second consecutive 40 plus win season for the first time in franchise history.
Doan’s commitment to the underdog Coyotes was demonstrated this season when he logged his 1,119th game as a Coyotes. He is the only player left from the original Jets franchise and has captained the team for the past seven seasons.
Off the ice, the 34-year-old Doan is a fixture in the Phoenix community, often being referred to as the most selfless Phoenix athlete. When he’s not spending time on his ranch with Sports 620 KTAR’s Mark Asher, Doan is working with United Blood Services, Phoenix Children’s Hospital or Coyotes Charities, just to name a few causes he is involved with.
Messier said he was impressed in the press release with Doan, especially “if you look at the situation the last two years in Phoenix and the team made the playoffs both times.”
The other two finalists are Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins.
In line with his character, Doan didn’t forget either player in his brief statement in the press release.
“I would like to congratulate Zdeno and Nicklas on being nominated for this special award. They are both great leaders,” Doan said.
The winner will be announced during the 2011 NHL Awards on Wednesday, June 22 at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, but Coyotes fans, hockey fans and fans of good people in general should be pulling for Shane Doan.