19 memorable moments in Coyotes captain Shane Doan’s career
GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s impossible to list the ways in which Shane Doan has impacted the Coyotes franchise in his 20 seasons in the Valley. A career this rich in commitment, sacrifice, achievement and humility can’t be reduced to simple numbers.
“Until you’re around him every day, you simply can’t understand just how much impact he has,” said Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving, who was the Coyotes assistant GM for seven seasons. “He’s as genuine and authentic a guy as you’ll find, and he’s been one hell of a hockey player for a very long time.”
In the wake of Doan’s retirement, we’re taking a look back at 19 memorable moments that define the career of No. 19. This story was originally published last season.
1. Two Memorial Cups: Doan started his climb to the NHL in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Kamloops Blazers in 1992. As any Canadian will tell you, winning the Memorial Cup as CHL champion (comprising Canada’s three major junior leagues, the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the WHL) is a close second to raising the Stanley Cup. Doan did it twice with the Blazers in 1994 and 1995. His best season was 1994-95 when he recorded 94 points and won the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Memorial Cup tournament MVP. Following the 2007-08 season, Doan joined businessman Tom Gaglardi, and ex-Blazers and NHL players Mark Recchi, Darryl Sydor and Jarome Iginla in purchasing the Blazers.
2. First NHL goal: The Winnipeg Jets were down 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 14, 1995 at Winnipeg Arena when Doan cut across the blue line to his right, rifled a shot past Blackhawks defensemen Chris Chelios and Gary Suter and off the far post and beat goalie Ed Belfour. Doan wasn’t finished, however. After Teemu Selanne scored the tying goal, Doan got the game-winner in overtime to begin the march toward Dale Hawerchuk’s franchise scoring record.
3. First playoff berth: As a Winnipeg rookie in 1995-96, Doan had just 17 points, but he scored an enormous goal in the final game of the regular season against the Los Angeles Kings. Doan’s game winner helped the Jets earn the NHL’s final playoff berth by virtue of a tiebreaker with the Anaheim Ducks after both teams finished with 78 points.
4. O Captain! My Captain! Doan was named the franchise’s 15th captain before the 2003-04 season, coinciding with the team’s move to Glendale in December of 2003. He succeeded Teppo Numminen, who was traded to the Dallas Stars in July 2003 for Mike Sillinger. That same season, he was named an NHL All-Star Game for the first time. Doan is the NHL’s longest tenured captain, eclipsing Boston’s Zdeno Chara by three years. In the video below, former GM Mike Barnett and former coach Bobby Francis make the announcement alongside Doan, who is sporting a long flow.
5. Oh, Canada: Doan was a controversial addition to Team Canada for the 2004 World Cup, but nobody questioned his value after he scored the game-winning goal against Finland in the gold medal game. You can watch that goal develop at about the 57:20 mark of the video.
6. Captain Canada: When Doan was selected as captain for the 2007 World Championships, a Canadian Official Languages parliamentary committee demanded Hockey Canada appear before the committee to explain their decision in light an alleged racial slur he used on Dec. 13, 2005, against a French speaking referee during a game against the Montreal Canadiens. Doan’s selection was maintained, citing that an NHL investigation had cleared him of any wrongdoing.
7. Suspensions: On Oct.18, 2010, Doan was suspended three games for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim forward Dan Sexton as the league began its crackdown on head shots. “Everything in the rules say the onus is on the hitter not to hit the player, not to hurt him, and I deliberately didn’t hit him,” Doan said. “I cut in front of him, I don’t catch his head, but they want to send a message, and they obviously did.” When you watch the video below the commentator calls it a textbook example of a blindside hit but that is a complete mischaracterization of what happens on the play. Doan makes sure he gets in front of Sexton so he can see him before delivering the hit. Doan also was assessed a three-game suspension on March 21, 2012 for elbowing Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars in the head. It was hard to argue with this call.
8. Sidelined for the Wings: In his first playoff action in seven years, Doan scored one goal in a first-round series against the Detroit Red Wings in 2010 before he suffered a shoulder separation in Game 3 when he tripped over goalie Jimmy Howard and slammed into the boards. He missed the remainder of the series despite begging coach Dave Tippett to let him play. The Red Wings won the series in seven games. “The agony he was feeling not being able to play — it was killing him,” Tippett said. “It was funny at times, him trying to prove to me that he could play with one arm. He was trying to practice and shoot and he couldn’t shoot. He’d be hanging onto the stick with one hand. The agony he was putting himself through to get in there was remarkable but you felt for him. That really typified what kind of player he is and his commitment to winning.”
9. King Clancy Award: Doan was honored with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy after the 2009-10 season. The award recognizes the player who is a leader on and off the ice and has made contributions to the community. The award could easily be renamed for Doan in years to come.
10. First hat trick: It took 16 seasons but Doan sure made his first hattie one to remember in that memorable 2011-12 season when he beat the buzzer on Jan. 7, 2012. Rather than whittling the details, let me share one of my favorite game stories that I have ever written.
11. Beating the Blackhawks: In 15 seasons in the Valley, the Coyotes had never won a division title or a playoff series (0-7) before the 2011-12 season. They did both, winning the Pacific Division title and then taking down the vaunted Blackhawks in six games, marking the only time since Chicago’s 2010 Stanley Cup title to the present that any team had knocked the Blackhawks out of the playoffs in less than seven games. Of all the moments in Doan’s career, this is the one he cherishes the most. “It was so big,” he said. “We hadn’t done it as an organization and to do it against that team of all teams made it even more special.”
12. Dustin Brown, Public Enemy No. 1: Doan’s frustration had been building throughout the Western Conference Final. It finally boiled over after a no-call on Kings captain Dustin Brown when he collided with Michal Rozsival in overtime before the Kings scored the winning and series-clinching goal in Game 5. Brown appeared to throw a subtle knee-on-knee hit on Rozsival. “How do you miss that?” Doan asked. “I mean Rozy’s knee’s blown out (it wasn’t). How do you miss that? How do you miss that when it’s after the whistle and it’s a knee? Like how can you possibly miss that? As a player, I get in trouble when I make a mistake. I get in big trouble. I get called out by you guys. I get called out by everybody. I get called out by my coaches. I feel accountable to my teammates. I don’t know how you miss it.” The outburst was as much a reflection of the hit as it was of Doan ‘s frustration with falling short of the Stanley Cup finals.
13. Mark Messier Leadership Award: Doan won the award after the 2011-12 season. The winner, chosen by the former Edmonton Oilers great, honors the player who is a leader for his team and community.
14. A new deal: With the franchise’s ownership situation still in flux, Doan agreed to a four-year contract worth $21.2 million on Sept. 14, 2012 with the understanding that prospective buyer Greg Jamison would complete his bid to purchase the franchise. He did not, but Doan’s loyalty became his most notable attribute after the decision, and may have influenced coach Dave Tippett to agree to a five-year extension the following summer. Many have wondered why Doan hasn’t approved a trade elsewhere to chase a Stanley Cup. “It did come down to faith and some hope,” Doan said. “This is where I’ve been; this is where I always wanted to be.”
15. Lockout leader: The details of Doan’s role in ending the 113-day lockout that stalled the start of the 2012-13 season have always been sketchy. Talk to any player or executive with knowledge of those meetings, however and you’ll get the same message: Doan was critical to ending the strife. Doan didn’t have to shuttle between the Valley and New York for meetings between players and owners. He wasn’t even the Coyotes’ player representative, but he attended so he could communicate the status of talks to his teammates, and he could bring a conciliatory voice to the table. The league wanted a salary cap of $62.5 million per team for the next season while the players wanted $64.3 million. “There were guys that didn’t have contracts and guys that were going to be needing contracts that year that the lower cap would have hurt,” Doan said. The higher cap meant more of the players’ salaries were placed in escrow, but it also meant more money in salaries. It was that team-first approach that reportedly help Doan convince both sides to follow his lead.
16. The exploding stick trick: Shane Doan called it “the exploding stick trick.” Keith Yandle had a less complimentary description. Coach Dave Tippett said the Coyotes captain couldn’t repeat it if he tried a thousand times. Doan scored the only goal of a shootout in a 2-1 win over Anaheim on Dec. 27, 2014 when his stick blade exploded while the puck slid past startled Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen. “Too bad you don’t get a save for saving the blade,” Andersen said. “If he had showed me that move in practice, maybe I’d use him a little more,” Tippett added. “I’ve seen a lot of things in this game. I’ve never seen that one before.”
17: A belated toss of their hats into the rink: Two days after Shane Doan tied Dale Hawerchuk for the most goals in franchise history, fans lined the glass by the dozens to honor him for an achievement that got lost in a loss to Chicago. During warm-ups of a game against Winnipeg on New Year’s Eve, fans tossed more than 100 hats to celebrate Doan’s second career hat trick. The 20-year veteran waved to the crowd after the hats stopped falling, found a black cowboy hat and decided to wear it along with a wide grin. “I’m not on Twitter so I had no idea that that was going on,” Doan said. “It kind of caught me off guard, but you want to say thanks to the fans because it’s pretty incredible that they would do something like that.”
18. Goal No. 380: In poetic fashion, Doan paid the fans back for their hat toss that same night when he broke Hawerchuk’s record against the team with which Hawerchuk had set it, Winnipeg, by burying his 380th goal off a feed from Max Domi. Domi clearly had a chance to score, but he recognized the moment and set the table for the captain. “I’m not really a goal scorer,” Domi quipped. “He has six million goals.”
19. Breaking Hawerchuk’s franchise points record: In this season of high Doan drama, the moment was a bit anticlimactic. Doan set the franchise record for points (930) with an assist on Oliver-Ekman-Larsson’s second-period goal, but the point wasn’t awarded until a full period later after officials had reviewed the goal. It would have been more dramatic had the point come on Doan’s third-period, power-play goal that also set the franchise record for power-play goals at 123, but Doan didn’t care. “A point is a point,” he said. “You try to do it any way you can and help the team win.”