Captain Shane Doan will return if the Coyotes will have him
Shane Doan told NHL Network’s “NHL Tonight” on Friday that he thinks he’ll come back for another season if the Coyotes will have him.
Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, who has known Doan for many years, reported the news more emphatically.
Shane Doan has decided to play next season with the Coyotes and will not retire
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) May 6, 2016
Doan said he had talked things over with his family and they were on board with the idea.
The Coyotes were not confirming the news because Doan had not told them yet, but new GM John Chayka had lunch with Doan on Thursday and expected to have more discussions with Doan and his agent, Terry Bross, about a new contract.
“I think the sense is pretty positive overall,” Chayka said of Doan at a Thursday press conference to announce Chayka’s hiring as the team’s GM. “We’d be excited to have him back. The impact he can have on our group, and the impact he has on the ice is exceptional. It’s got to be something that makes sense for him and makes sense for us.”
Doan can become a free agent on July 1 when his four-year, $21.2 million contract expires, but he told Arizona Sports on a late-season road trip in Pittsburgh that he had no intention of signing with another team. He’d like to finish his career in Arizona.
“I made my bed as far as that decision,” he said. “If that were going to happen, it would have already happened.”
Chayka confirmed that the Coyotes do not have the workings of a contract with Doan at the moment, but that could come quickly now that Chayka is in place and most of the hockey operations structure is in order.
Doan scored a team-high 28 goals this season at age 39, his highest total since he set a career high with 31 in 2008-09. Coming into this season, he admitted he thought it would be his last after managing just 14 goals and 36 points the season before — his lowest point total in an 82-game season since 1998-99.
The production he enjoyed and the energy that rookies such as Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and Jordan Martinook brought to the locker room revitalized him, however.
“Our view is if Shane wants to come back, we’re thrilled,” Coyotes President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said at the end of the season. “There’s no bigger figurehead in regard to the Arizona Coyotes than Shane Doan.”
Doan has played all 20 seasons of his NHL career with the Jets/Coyotes franchise; the final 19 coming in Arizona. In 1,466 career regular season games (a franchise record), he has a franchise-record 396 goals, a franchise-record 945 points and is four assists short of tying Thomas Steen’s franchise record of 553.