WASHINGTON - Picture Shane Doan and the Arizona Coyotes racing down Pennsylvania Ave. on Segways.
OK. Not all of them were going that fast.
Doan said his Segway, "was a little bit slower than some of the others."
"But that's OK," the Coyotes captain said Saturday. "I thoroughly enjoyed the information."
Although Doan was lagging behind, the Segway tour around Washington on Friday was a fun team bonding and educational experience. Of course, at age 40, Doan has been around the block a few more times than most of his young teammates.
He toured the White House with the Coyotes in the late 1990s when Bill Clinton was in office and some of the current Coyotes were in diapers. But Doan clearly likes to be surrounded by that youthful energy.
"I really enjoy our young guys," he said. "We have a great group."
What's been "really frustrating" for Doan lately is that he's been unable to compete alongside them. He's missed the Coyotes' past six games with a lower-body injury.
With six games remaining and the rebuilding Coyotes (27-40-9) eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention, Doan is running out of time this season and, potentially, in his career.
That is adding to his frustration.
"Without a doubt," said Doan, who has 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) in 70 games this season. "You always want to finish the year not like this."
A veteran of 21 NHL seasons, Doan is at the stage where he's going year to year and plans to decide about whether he'll retire "well after the season."
"But as a player you're always aware of the future and thinking about it," he said. "So it's one of those things that when you're not playing you definitely are thinking, 'I want to play.' So [being injured] probably makes it even more of a thought."
Although Doan has played his entire career with the Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise, he said he would have considered waiving the no-movement clause in his contract to be traded to a Stanley Cup contender. After the NHL Trade Deadline passed on March 1, Doan sounded disappointed when he acknowledged those teams had no interest in "a 40-year-old fourth liner" like himself.
"You want that chance to win the Stanley Cup," Doan said. "So you want an opportunity to play in [the playoffs] and to not be given the opportunity is tough. But at the same time, the honor of being able to play with the same organization my whole career is something that I don't take lightly. So it's pretty equally balanced."
Still the reality that Doan probably won't win the Stanley Cup as a player has set in. And if that's the case, he's fine with it.
"You go through the guys that have won and the guys that haven't and I think you get a little bit more comfortable in the fact that as a person and as a player I know who the guys that are real winners are and not all of them are guys that have won Stanley Cups," he said. "There are some great players that didn't, some guys that no one even knows about, that are unbelievable guys that are winners and they didn't win. So it is what it is."
If Doan retired today, he'd do so as the franchise's leader in goals (402), assists (568), points (970), power-play goals (128) and games played (1,536). He was twice selected to represent the Coyotes in the NHL All-Star Game and played for Canada at the 2006 Turin Olympics, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the IIHF World Championship in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
As much as he wants to win the Stanley Cup, Doan knows it won't define his career if he doesn't.
"Only 25 guys get it every year, so to measure everything off the result of one year I think is a little bit narrow-minded," he said. "But to see the overall, the whole thing, is sometimes just as important."
This season, Doan has provided veteran leadership for young Coyotes such as Jakob Chychrun, 18, Lawson Crouse, 19, Christian Fischer, 19, Brendan Perlini, 20, Anthony Duclair, 21, Christian Dvorak, 21 and Max Domi, 22. Although Doan probably won't be around for the payoff, he has been invaluable to helping set the foundation for the future.
"He's a big piece of what we're trying to do here," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Just how he is as a player and a person and the kind of aura around him really helps our young players."
Doan downplayed his role in helping the young players.
"People want to take pride in things they feel they're part of, but a lot of times you're not necessarily a part of it," he said. "You're just happy to be there when they come in."
But the young players seem to enjoy being around him as much as he likes being around them, whether on the ice or riding on a Segway.
"He's a special guy," Domi said. "He's someone we all look up to."