Coyotes launch Doan Arizona Youth Hockey Fund

Jan 22, 2016, 7:27 PM

Arizona Coyotes' Shane Doan smiles as he greets his wife and kids as he is recognized for becoming ...

Arizona Coyotes' Shane Doan smiles as he greets his wife and kids as he is recognized for becoming the franchise leader for goals, with his 380th, during ceremonies prior to an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Shane Doan was grateful for the pre-game celebration the Coyotes organized on Thursday to honor him as the franchise’s all-time leading goal scorer.

What really got the captain excited, however, was the $100,000 check team president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc handed him to launch the Doan Arizona Youth Hockey Fund.

“It was far above and beyond anything I would ever dream of and it shows a huge commitment on the Coyotes’ part to youth hockey here in the Valley,” Doan said. “There’s a real opportunity to start something really good here.”

Doan’s teammates gave him a watch to mark the goal-scoring milestone, and GM Don Maloney commissioned a portrait by artist David Arrigo, but the owners were undecided on what to give a guy LeBlanc called “a man who has everything.”

“I started reflecting back on my earliest conversations with Shane,” LeBlanc said. “I think we had only owned the team for about a week when he called to ask how the Coyotes could help youth hockey in the Valley. So I thought, ‘Why don’t we create a new foundation or carve it out of our own and completely dedicate it to the growth of the game in Valley?'”

LeBlanc knew that would come down to money so he was stunned when he sent an email to majority owner Andrew Barroway and received a quick reply.

“He comes back and says ‘I love it. How about we throw in a $100,000 to start?'” LeBlanc said. “I was like, ‘OK.’ I mean, it was great to be the guy with the idea but to have Andy jump on board so substantially was pretty cool and ultimately what matters here.”

Doan is still pondering how to best utilize the seed fund, but he has some ideas.

“I’m thinking about trying to start a national program in conjunction with the two major organizations at the Triple A level, but I’d also like to see it trickle down from there,” he said. “When you look at what the Little Caesars do in Detroit with the Red Wings, or what the happens with a couple teams in Chicago, or the way the Ducks and Kings do things, I’d like to start something similar.”

Doan admits his goals are somewhat “selfish” because his son, Joshua, 13, plays for the Coyotes Amateur Hockey Association, Ultimately, he wants to see hockey grow at all levels in Arizona, and he wants to cast a spotlight on that growth.

“When people think about the Valley they don’t necessarily think about good hockey, but the fact that the NCAA is here (with Arizona State’s program) and the state is starting to create these great prospects like Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk shows what’s happening here,” he said. “I recognize that if the Coyotes had left, none of this would be happening, but because the team and the NHL have made a commitment to stay here, minor hockey is growing in the Valley.”

LeBlanc hopes this is just the start for the Doan Fund, with more ice pads, cheaper participation costs and more kids playing the ultimate goals.

“Our expectation is to use this to go out and raise more funds for youth hockey,” LeBlanc said. “We hope to endow this fund.

“We believe the hockey community in Arizona will continue to grow, but to have him at the fore is a tremendous benefit. When you think about it, who could be better to serve as the sport’s ambassador?”

Kings at Coyotes

When: Saturday, 7 pm.

Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale

TV: FOX Sports Arizona Plus

Radio: KTAR News 92.3 FM

Starting goalies: Kings — TBA. Coyotes — Louis Domingue

Injury report:Coyotes — G Mike Smith (abdominal surgery) and F Joe Vitale (concussion symptoms) are out. Kings– D Matt Green (shoulder surgery) is out indefinitely. F Kyle Clifford (IR, upper body) is out.

Scouting the Kings: G Jonathan Quick is 16-4-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage over his last 22 games … F Tyler Toffoli was a minus-1 in Thursday’s loss to Minnesota, marking only the third game all season in which he has been a minus and ending a 30-game even-or-better stretch. .. C Anze Kopitar leads the team with 40 points (27 assists). Kopitar signed an 8-year, $80-million contract extension last week.

Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter

Arizona Coyotes

Barrett Hayton #29 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with Juuso Valimaki #4, Nick Schmaltz #8 and J...

Aaron Schmidt

Coyotes are No. 23 in ESPN’s NHL Future Power Rankings

The future of the Coyotes seems to be moving in the right direction. The biggest hurdle continues to revolve around their future home.

9 hours ago

NHL Global Series - Arizona Coyotes v Los Angeles Kings...

Arizona Sports

Coyotes conclude Australia series with Kings, Josh Doan scores hat trick in split-squad action

Josh Doan -- son of Shane Doan -- scored a hat trick for the Coyotes against the St. Louis Blues in preseason action.

10 days ago

Logan Cooley, #3 pick by the Arizona Coyotes, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL D...

Arizona Sports

Cooley scores spin-o-rama goal as Coyotes beat Kings in first NHL preseason game in Australia

Coyotes rookie Logan Cooley scored a nifty, highlight-reel goal and Arizona beat the Los Angeles Kings, 5-3, in the NHL's first preseason game played in the Southern Hemisphere.

11 days ago

The Arizona Coyotes beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 29, ...

Arizona Sports

Arizona Coyotes extend partnership with Arizona Sports

The Arizona Coyotes have announced a one-year partnership extension with Bonneville Phoenix to continue broadcasting the team's games.

13 days ago

Jan Jenik...

Arizona Sports

Arizona Coyotes sign forward Jan Jenik to 2-way contract

The Arizona Coyotes announced Wednesday that they signed forward Jan Jenik to a one-year, two-way contract.

14 days ago

Logan Cooley walks toward the stage after being selected third overall by the Arizona Coyotes durin...

Aaron Schmidt

Logan Cooley wants to ‘thrive in NHL,’ make impact with Coyotes

Rookie sensation Logan Cooley is excited to not only make an impact with the Arizona Coyotes, but the NHL too.

15 days ago

Coyotes launch Doan Arizona Youth Hockey Fund