Doan’s been here forever, will he stay in PHX?

Oct 14, 2011, 9:47 PM | Updated: 11:25 pm

A lot of things have changed in the Valley of the Sun
since 1996.

One thing hasn’t: Shane Doan, an original Phoenix Coyote,
is still in town.

Phoenix’s longest-tenured athlete will play in his 15th
home opener Saturday night when the Coyotes host the
Winnipeg Jets at Arena in Glendale.

The fact that Doan and the ‘Yotes will be squaring off
against the new version of the Jets has got to be a little
strange–the Phoenix captain is one of only three active
NHL players who were on the Winnipeg roster during the
1995-96 season before the franchise moved to the desert
(Teemu Selanne and Nikolai Khabibulin were the others).

Doan turned 35 on Monday and is an unrestricted free agent
at the end of this season. That combination could make
Doan a candidate for a trade later this season if the
Coyotes aren’t in position for a third straight trip to
the postseason

Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett did his best to quell that
thought when he joined Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports
620 on Friday.

“I’ll predict right now, if the Phoenix Coyotes are in
Phoenix, and they get an owner here, Shane Doan will never
leave this team,” Tippett said.

But the third-year head coach didn’t stop there.

“He’s done too much for this organization. I think the
organization recognizes it. From our coaching standpoint,
we recognize what he does for our team,” he said. “I’ve
never seen a better leader in a dressing room.”

Doan himself joined Doug and Wolf later on Friday and in
typical Doan fashion, laughed off the coach’s comments
about his leadership.

“Realistically, I’m an extension of Tip,” Doan said.
“He’s the leader of our group, and I’m extension of him
and try to do what the players think is best. But that’s
a huge compliment, and I’m very thankful for it.”

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Doan’s been here forever, will he stay in PHX?