Shane Doan says he didn’t take Toronto job because Coyotes failed to get arena in Tempe
Jun 10, 2023, 2:30 PM | Updated: 3:16 pm
(Photo by Kelsey Grant/NHLI via Getty Images)
Shane Doan’s decision to accept a position with the Toronto Maple Leafs this week had nothing to do with the current state of the Arizona Coyotes, who still are looking for a permanent new facility to call home here in Arizona.
“This has nothing to do with that,” Doan told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo. “…this was more of an opportunity that came up with a friend in a spot that it doesn’t come up very often.”
The “friend” Doan is referencing is Brad Treliving, whom the Leafs recently hired as general manager.
Doan, the former Coyotes captain, is leaving an advisor role with Arizona to serve as “special advisor” to Treliving with the Leafs.
The two are pals from Treliving’s tenure as Coyotes assistant general manager from 2007-14.
Doan said taking the job with the Leafs was a “hard decision.”
“The opportunity to work for the Coyotes was special and I didn’t take that lightly and I enjoyed it,” Doan said.
However, the chance to work for the Maple Leafs was simply to good to pass up, Doan said.
“There are certain teams that kind of embody the entire league, and there’s not very many of those,” Doan said. “…Toronto is that for the NHL and so to get the opportunity, it doesn’t come along very often and is unique and I was excited.”
Doan said the fact that Toronto, led by Arizona native Auston Matthews, is such a good team at this point also was a factor in his decision.
“I think they’ve got a great team,” Doan said. “The hardest thing to do in the NHL is to get elite talent and they have that. When an opening like that comes up, you have to be willing to understand that it might not come up again and that’s probably it as much as anything.”
As for the Coyotes, the franchise that drafted Doan in 1995 and his son Josh in 2021, Doan said he still believes the NHL belongs in the Valley, despite the fact the team’s recent attempt to build a new arena in Tempe was defeated by voters.
“I’m beyond disappointed that it didn’t go through,” Doan said of the proposed arena in Tempe. “That being said, I think that this city is way too good of a market and way too good of a situation for the NHL to leave.”
He added, “This is a city that you come to. This isn’t a city that you leave. I know the organization and the league is in a tough situation trying to find a building. I think (Coyotes president & CEO Xavier Gutierrez) will continue to search to find a building that will work and the team will be OK here. I really do.”