Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, watching Shane Doan play for the Arizona Coyotes. Shortly after Doan retired Wednesday, the reigning Calder Trophy winner congratulated the former Coyotes forward on Twitter.
"My childhood idol growing up," Matthews tweeted. "Amazing player and an even better person. Congrats on an unbelievable career Doaner!"
Matthews became a Coyotes fan at an early age and referred to Doan as his idol one day after the Coyotes announced they would not re-sign their captain of 13 seasons. He had a poster of Doan on his bedroom wall, skated with him during the offseason and took the opening faceoff against him when the Maple Leafs played at the Coyotes on Dec. 23, 2016, Matthews' first NHL game in Arizona.
It also was the night when Doan scored his 400th NHL goal in his 1,500th game.
"I loved him growing up," Matthews said June 20. "He was my idol. Then getting to know him, he's such an unbelievable person. As good as he is on the ice, the person he is off the ice really exemplifies everything about him. I'm pretty sad to see it, but he gives it his all and he's been with that organization for 21 years and he's made a big impact on and off the ice."