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Stanley Cup Final

Doan happy to see Coyotes finally win division

Saturday, 04.07.2012 / 11:49 PM / NHL Insider

By Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Much has changed about the National Hockey League since 1995, when Shane Doan broke into the League with the Winnipeg Jets.

For one, the Jets left town and became the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes have gone through myriad of changes in the front office, behind the bench, on their jerseys and even on where they've played.

Shane Doan
Shane Doan
Right Wing - PHX
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 50
SOG: 226 | +/-: -8
Over that time, only two things have been constant -- Doan and the dearth of banners in the rafters of Jobing.com Arena.

Now, there's just one.

Phoenix's 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild Saturday at Xcel Energy Center secured the first division title -- or title of any kind -- since the Jets/Coyotes franchise entered the National Hockey League 33 years ago.

For a guy like Doan, who has been on the roster for every game the franchise has ever played in the Valley of the Sun, the title was extra sweet. Considering how much he's given to the organization, it's possible this championship means more to Doan than to anyone else.

One of the NHL's true gentlemen, Doan beamed afterwards.

"This organization has given a lot to me though too, it's a two way street, they've been very generous to me," Doan said. "It feels really special. When you get drafted by a team, you get brought in by a team, you have a job to do, and that job is to win. It's nice to have something.

"Now we have one banner up. It only took 17 years, that's not too bad."

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett complemented Doan's loyalty to the organization, something not seen much anymore in today's age of free agency and trade deadline-deals.

"He's put a lot of time and energy into building this franchise, trying to move it forward," Tippett said. "The organization should be very thankful for the work and effort and commitment he's made to this group."

Perhaps its fitting that the Winnipeg Jets -- where it all began for Doan -- is back in the League the same year the old Jets have won their first division title.

"Winnipeg being back, they're a different organization, but its cool to go back to that city," Doan said. "It was a fun year. It was an enjoyable year. But the best part of it is coming. As excited as anyone is about this, we can't wait [for the playoffs]. The playoffs is where you get to have your real fun."

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory