Until he makes a decision, one way or the other, Shane Doan will continually be asked about whether or not this past season was his last.
Having just wrapped up his 20th NHL season, Doan has talked about the possibility of retirement but has maintained he does not know what way he is leaning — or if he even is leaning a particular direction.
What he does know, however, is that he will need some time to come to a decision.
“Probably June, that probably would be more realistic, mid-June,” Doan told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday.
It may seem like Doan is asking for quite a bit of time when you’d have to think this is something he’s at least thought about already, but the 40-year-old’s timetable is just another sign that he really does not know what he’s going to do.
“I don’t know, maybe June, maybe September — I have no idea,” he mused. “Maybe I’m just going to wait for a year and kind of do what some other guys do and come back later.”
That last part was most likely a joke, though the serious aspect of Doan’s predicament — the lack of a decision — is something he understands could be frustrating to some.
But the mid-June timetable matches up with when Doan will go back to Canada with his family, which will offer him a chance to get away and clear his head.
It may offer a welcome respite for the veteran, who said his future has been a topic of conversation in all walks of his life.
“There are some people who have taken me and asked in the most polite, genuine, kind of caring way,” he said. “I wish I could tell them, I wish I could tell somebody right now and be like, ‘this is what it is.’
“I just don’t take the decision lightly, and it’s not like I think that you can make the decision and change your mind on it. It’s one of those things that you kind of do or you don’t.”
Doan said he does not have to rush his decision because any timetable he would be trying to live under would be self-imposed. However, if the Coyotes went to him and said they needed to know, he admitted that could change things.
“But they’ve been great about it too, and they’ve got a lot of other things going on right now so it’s not a priority for them, either,” he said.
Doan’s decision will have some impact on the Coyotes’ offseason, though it is true that they may have even bigger fish to fry. They will be looking to address the center position, but enter this summer with an understanding of just how important these next few months will be.
Doan, who has played his entire career with the Coyotes organization, is confident the team would welcome him back if he chose to keep playing, and is grateful they are giving him time to figure his future out.
“There might come a time when they’re like, ‘hey, this has to be done because we’ve got to go in this direction or that direction,’ and I understand that, I understand they have to make those decisions and have that discussion when they do.
“But up until now, it hasn’t been an issue.”