Coyotes’ Shane Doan ‘leaning toward playing’ next season, agent says

Jun 14, 2017, 12:47 PM | Updated: 1:43 pm
(AP photo)...
(AP photo)
(AP photo)

Terry Bross, the agent for Coyotes captain Shane Doan, believes his client wants to play a 22nd NHL season.

“He hasn’t made a final decision, but I think he’s leaning toward playing one more year; I think he’s going to play,” Bross said. “His body feels good, he loves the game and he loves the players.”

Doan has played his entire career with the Jets/Coyotes franchise — one season with the Winnipeg Jets in the 1995-96 season; the last 20 with the Phoenix and Arizona Coyotes after the team relocated here in 1996.

Doan is one of just nine players in NHL history to have played at least 21 seasons with the same organization. Last season, Arizona Sports took a look back at 19 memorable moments in No. 19’s career.

The Halkirk, Alberta native became the team’s captain when the club moved to then-Glendale Arena in 2003, making him the longest serving current captain in the NHL. He holds the franchise records for games played (1,540), shots (3,945), goals (402), assists (570), points (972), power-play goals (128) and game-winning goals (69).

Doan’s role was reduced last season and his production slipped to six goals and 27 points, his lowest output for a full season since the 1998-99 campaign. He considered retirement, but wanted to talk to his family, see how his body felt and wait to see how the ownership situation was resolved.

Doan would need to work out a new contract with general manager John Chayka because he is an unrestricted free agent. He signed a one-year deal last summer for $3,876,134, with a $1.5 million signing bonus broken into six payments of $250,000 starting in 2017 and ending in 2022, and a games played bonus of $1 million, broken into payments of $500,000 in 2018 and 2019. That was coming off a 28-goal season, which led the team.

It’s unclear what role Doan would have with the team next season. Chayka still hopes to make a trade or two before the expansion draft, or on the NHL Draft floor in Chicago next week. Nashville wing Pontus Aberg is one player in whom the Coyotes are known to have interest.

Right winger Anthony Duclair is a restricted free agent, but the Coyotes would likely re-sign him. There is also the possibility that prospect Christian Fischer earns a permanent role on the right wing, and that free agent right winger Radim Vrbata returns for another season. Vrbata led the Coyotes last season with 20 goals and 55 points.

Doan would likely man a bottom-six forward role. He still has the ability to produce on the power play through net presence or from his customary spot near the left hash mark, but if the Coyotes want their young players to continue to grow, a power-play role is one in which those players would need experience.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported Monday that Doan expects to make a final decision by the conclusion of the NHL Draft (June 23-24), if not sooner. Doan also plans to have more discussions with his family, Bross said. Doan has not commented publicly on his decision.

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