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by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
Not too long ago, Teppo Numminen and Jeremy Roenick announced their retirements after long and successful NHL careers. Both men played for the Coyotes, of course, and their contributions to the franchise were numerous.

Numminen is the all-time team leader in games played (1,098) and ranks fifth on the team’s list for career points with 534. Roenick is tied for eighth on that list with 379 points, and he also is tied for eighth with 152 goals.

Coyotes captain Shane Doan played with Numminen and Roenick, and knows them well. In an exclusive interview with on Monday, Doan shared some thoughts and memories of his friends/former teammates.

Q: What was your reaction when you heard that Teppo and JR had retired on consecutive days?

A: “I was so happy for them both because they had such incredible careers. It was a great day for them.”

Q: It’s well-documented that you look up to Teppo Numminen. What is it that you admire so much?

A: “As I played with him, I just grew to appreciate his consistency and his professionalism. His whole demeanor is so gentle and so kind, and yet at the same time he is sarcastic and fun to be around. I am one of his biggest fans, if not his biggest fan. I just admire the guy on and off the ice as a dad and a husband. He’s a great man.”

Teppo Numminen was captain of the Coyotes in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
Q: What did you admire most about him as a hockey player?

A: “He was more consistent than anyone I’ve ever played with, and he was unselfish and a consummate leader in that he did all the little things right. He worked on his game and did everything you would want somebody to do to get better.”

Q: What did you learn from him in terms of his leadership skills that you use today as captain of the Coyotes?

A: “I learned a ton from him in the way that he just did his job every single day and he never asked anybody to look at him. He was constantly just doing the little things and couldn’t have cared less if no one was watching him or if everyone was watching him; he was going to do it the same way and be himself. It’s like the old saying: ‘Character is what you know you are, reputation is what others think you are.’ He has such great character."

Q: Do you have one or two moments that jump to mind when somebody asks you about Teppo Numminen?

A: “Yeah, we always teased him because whenever he scored a goal he would do a one-legged lean with his hands in the air. I’ll never forget it because we’d always joke and tease him about it. And then, I remember very well that I was very, very upset when he got traded. I missed him a lot. I still do.”

Q: Unlike Teppo Numminen, Jeremy Roenick was a very flashy player. What are your thoughts on his legacy?

Jeremy Roenick came back to Phoenix for the 2006-07 season.
A: “I think JR is just an incredible hockey player. He did everything at such a high speed. His talent as a hockey player, you don’t appreciate it until you see it every day. I knew how good he was, but to see it every day was great. Plus, his personality was phenomenal for our sport. Whenever he did or said something, even if you didn’t agree with it, it was great because he created so much commotion around our league and around our sport.”

Q: Was Roenick a good teammate?

A: “He was an awesome teammate. I always tell this story, but when I was like 20 or 21 years old, my father-in-law came to Phoenix looking to golf. I asked JR for help because I didn’t really know anything about golf here in the Valley and JR was very connected as usual. So, JR set him up to golf at three different places, and it was unbelievable. My father-in-law was blown away because JR didn’t have to do that. It made such a big impression on me that he would go out of his way to do that. That was just the way he was.”

Q: Do you have one or two moments that jump to mind when somebody asks you about Jeremy Roenick?

Jeremy Roenick at the 1991 All-Star Game
A: “His toughness was so underrated. I’ll always remember that year that he broke his jaw and broke his thumb on the exact same play and then played three more shifts. Blood was running out of his mouth and he played three more shifts before saying, ‘OK, I can’t do this.’ The fact he played three more shifts with a jaw that was split right down the middle and a broken thumb just showed how tough he really was. Few things wow me as a player, but those three shifts he played, I have no idea how he did it.”

Q: Do you think Roenick should stay connected to the NHL, perhaps as a television color commentator?

A: “I think he’d do a great job at that. He might say things that people would disagree with, or get into trouble for saying something, but at the same time, he’s great for our sport and our sport needs his personality.”

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