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Doan Announces Retirement from NHL

Shane Doan spent entire 21-season career with Coyotes/Jets franchise

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE -- Former Coyotes captain Shane Doan retired from the NHLon Wednesday after 21 seasons.

Doan, 40, made the announcement in a letter to fans published by The Arizona Republic newspaper.

"I could not fathom at the time that I would end up playing in Arizona for the next 21 years, raise a family and call this place home," Doan, who accompanied the Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix in 1996 after his rookie season, wrote to the fans. "But that's exactly what happened. And that's why this has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I'm retiring from the NHL."

Video: Thank You, Shane Doan

Doan played 1,540 NHL games, all for the Coyotes/Jets franchise. Only 13 players have played more NHL games, and he's one of just nine NHLers to play at least 21 seasons with the same organization.

In response to Doan's announcement, the Coyotes released a statement that reads:

"On behalf of the entire Arizona Coyotes organization, our fans and our corporate partners, we would like to thank Shane for everything that he's done for our franchise over the past 21 years. Shane had an incredible career on the ice and we are very proud of everything that he accomplished in a Coyotes uniform. He will be remembered as one of the greatest captains in NHL history. Off the ice, Shane was a great ambassador for growing the game of hockey in Arizona and his contributions to the community are immeasurable. Shane will be a Coyote for life. Thank you Captain!"

Doan, who served as team captain from 2003-17, is the franchise's all-time leader in games (1,540), goals (402), assists (570), points (972), power-play goals (128), and game-winning goals (69). His best offensive season came in 2007-08 when he notched 78 points (28 goals, 50 assists) in 80 games. 

Doan was named to the NHL All-Star Game in 2004 and 2009, and he won the 2012 Mark Messier Leadership Award after leading the Coyotes to the Western Conference Finals that season. 

Beyond the stats and awards, Doan was a fan favorite in Arizona for many, many years. In 2015, he was voted the Valley's Most Popular Sports Figure by fans in an online poll conducted by azcentral.com. 

"I've been blessed and I'm so grateful for the fans and their support," Doan wrote. "They stuck by me throughout my career and the ups and downs of the Coyotes. There are a lot of players with more skill than me and a lot more ability than me that didn't ever get the type of appreciation that I got and the type of respect that the fans gave me, and I'm so grateful for that. I can't express how much I appreciate it. Thank you for watching me grow up, and I enjoyed watching a lot of you grow up, too."

He added:

"I also want to say thanks to the Coyotes, who provided me the opportunity to stay in the Valley for 21 years," Doan wrote. "That's one of the most meaningful accomplishments of my career, and I'll forever cherish the friendships I've made along the way."

Examples of Doan's friendships were evident on Twitter after news of his retirement broke on Wednesday morning:

Tweet from @Jeremy_Roenick: Congrats to my teammate and great friend Shane Doan on an amazing career. The best player in @ArizonaCoyotes history! Enjoy retirement. #19

Tweet from @TeemuSel8nne: Shane Doan, Great human being, amazing career, Thanks for everything you have done for hockey, good luck life after hockey my friend �� pic.twitter.com/OXC1iA3iIv

Tweet from @TysonNash: Thank u captain! Thanks for always leading the way and being the example. We are all better players and most importantly people because of u pic.twitter.com/azc6JPUx54

Tweet from @Dbacks: Congrats on a great career, Captain Coyote! #ThankYouDoaner https://t.co/2eOMjxzHR4

Tweet from @AZCardinals: #ThankYouDoaner for all you've done for AZ! Congrats on a terrific career. #AllAZ https://t.co/cvRmmMlVHJ

Tweet from @BizNasty2point0: Thank you Shane Doan for everything u've done for me, the Coyotes organization, & the game of hockey throughout ur career. Enjoy retirement. pic.twitter.com/laCzaqlSLl

Tweet from @OEL_23: Congrats on a great career Doaner! Thank you for all you've done for me over the years. #legend

Tweet from @max_domi: Congrats on an incredible career Doaner. One of the best people to ever play the game. Honored to be your teammate and call you a friend. �� pic.twitter.com/mb2SPy1L8u

Tweet from @aduclair10: No better man to learn from than this guy. The best and most humble human being I've ever met. Thank you for everything Doaner! ���� #HOF pic.twitter.com/qhvKaEPWXB Tweet from @10_CD: Congratulations Doaner on a unbelievable career! Honor to be able to play with you! Truly is the best guy ever! #goat

Tweet from @AM34: My childhood idol growing up. Amazing player and an even better person. Congrats on an unbelievable career Doaner !

Tweet from @TKACHUKycheese_: Congrats to one of the nicest/best guys in hockey on a great career... Awesome player but better person! https://t.co/gANMdVHx5y

Tweet from @mattycoyotestv: There's a spot on hockey's Mt. Rushmore of great people awaiting Shane Doan. Thanks Captain for the front row seat and your impact in AZ.

Tweet from @Panger40: Congrats on an incredible @NHL career Shane Doan. You are a gentleman off the ice, and a competitor every time you stepped on the ice.

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