In days where loyalty in pro sports is not really the norm, Shane Doan has a special place in many fan’s hearts in Arizona
Born in the province of Alberta in Canada, Shane Doan would never imagine one day he would be the biggest hero of hockey fans in the desert down south of the border.
He was born and raised much longer before the "Phoenix Coyotes" were even a possibility of existence. He played junior hockey for Kamloops Blazers in the WHL and went on to be drafted in the first round by the old Winnipeg Jets’ organization.
His time in Manitoba would end soon after just one season when the team moved to Arizona where he would play his entire career and inspire a generation of fans in a "non-traditional hockey market".
Although alongside great players such as Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Rick Tocchet, and Teppo Numminen, Doan grew into one of the biggest personality of the team and eventually became the biggest star of the later named Arizona Coyotes.
On the ice, he ended up being the all-time leader in many categories on the team he never left after 21 seasons. His many records are set in place in the record books but it's his attitude was always noticeable during his tenure as captain (the longest in NHL until his retirement).
A man of the community, the Canadian born adapted really well to Arizona and for many while the franchise struggled financially and through ownership changes. He was the reason why the team still remains where it is.
Legacy for the country, fans, and teammates
While for the Coyotes he failed to accomplish the biggest dream of every hockey player which is to win the Stanley Cup, for Canada he was able to represent his national team numerous times.
A collector of trophies, he was Captain for his nation on many occasions too and he was able to win three gold medals, (Two World Championships and one World Cup) as well two silver medals in the World Championships while a member of Canada’s 2006 Olympic team.
He reached the Western Conference finals in 2012 losing to the Los Angeles Kings in the biggest run of the franchise to date so far. A playoff series that created and endured a generation of fans for the team.
His experience has always been highly spoken by every teammate he has played with and has had an impact on many players as well in fans. He has won the NHL Mark Messier Leadership Award and also the King Clacy Leadership-Humanitarian Award.
The ultimate honor for number #19
On February 24th, Shane will have the ultimate honor any hockey player can have as the Arizona Coyotes, will retire his famous number 19 forever before the game against the Winnipeg Jets.
A fitting occasion for "Mr. Coyote" that he will enjoy with the only two teams he ever played for on his special night.
The Arizona Coyotes continue to run for a playoff push and one which could be fitting for the eternal captain to wish he was still out on the ice.
Can the Coyotes keep the playoff push and honor their best player and keep battling until this special night? Comment in the section below!