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Shane Doan of Coyotes not ready to decide

Future of Arizona captain won't be determined for weeks

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent

GLENDALE Ariz. -- Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan reiterated Monday he simply doesn't know if his 1,540th NHL game on Saturday was his last, and a decision likely won't be made for another few weeks.

Doan had his exit interview on Monday, when it was mutually agreed that the real discussion about whether he wants to -- or can -- return for a 22nd season with the Coyotes will be decided at a later date.

Doan said he wavered between trying to continue playing and retiring all season. He used the 20-year reunion of the first Coyotes team in February to seek advice of former teammates and players he learned from and respects, as well as friends and foes all over the NHL in a season where his goal production dropped from 27 to six at the age of 40.

"Some people tell you, 'Play as long as you can, because once you ring that bell you can't unring it,' and, 'Make them take that jersey off you,'" said Doan, who has 402 goals and 570 assists in his NHL career. "Then there is certainly amount of 'if they think you can still play, don't go out there and prove them wrong. Step out with a little bit of class.'"

He shared the factors that be at the top of his list as he makes a final decision, one that might be only partially his to make.

"Whether or not I think I'm embarrassing myself if I come back will be one," Doan said. "Whether or not I can accept the role I would play, or if there is a role for me. My family … the balance has been so much in my favor, but at some point there has to be a breaking point because they have given up an awful lot."

Doan remains undecided, but everyone else was hedging their bets on Saturday, not wanting to miss the chance to pay homage to "Captain Coyote."

Video: ARI@SJS: Doan goes five-hole for power-play goal

Handmade signs were everywhere at a sold-out Gila River Arena. Coyotes coach Dave Tippet put Doan in the starting lineup and had him on the ice at the end, with the puck on his stick in a 3-1 loss against the Minnesota Wild. The puck he used to set up Brendan Perlini's goal in the third period was saved. Doan was named first star of the game and a parade of teammates and Wild players congratulate him.

Coyotes general manager John Chayka said he wants to meet with Doan when he's ready to get a sense of where he is in the decision process.

"He is the Arizona Coyotes, and for good reason," Chayka said. "He's been an All-Star, he's probably a Hall of Famer. He's a great player that makes other players better. You can't say enough about him on the ice, and you can probably say even more off the ice in the community. He's taken on the brunt of the responsibility at times here, even when he shouldn't have had, and he did it with grace and class.

"As far as the future, we're going to meet with him. It's all about fit. Fit for him, fit for the organization, fit for his family. We'll see where it goes."

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