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Behind The Numbers

Shane Doan still getting it done for Coyotes

Arizona captain has been Mr. Consistent through most of his 20-season NHL career

by Rob Vollman / Correspondent

Forward Shane Doan signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, which will bring him back for a 21st NHL season.

Doan, who made his debut when the franchise played as the Winnipeg Jets, has been one of his team's most important players for most of his career, and last season was no exception. The 39-year-old led the Coyotes with 28 goals, was third with 47 points, and his average even-strength ice time per game of 13:49 was second among forwards to Mikkel Boedker (14:17).

That brings Doan's NHL totals to 1,466 games, 396 goals and 945 points, which ranks third, seventh, and ninth among active players, respectively. Statistically, what has that meant to this franchise? And what can be expected from him in his remaining years?

Video: Shane Doan signs one-year contract with Coyotes


There are two key factors when evaluating a player's career performance: How well he played at his peak, and how long he was able to perform at or near that level.

Doan started with the Winnipeg Jets in 1995-96 at age 19, but his career didn't reach its peak until his 30s.

During his first four seasons, Doan was used on the checking line and had 22 goals and 62 points in 249 games. At age 23, the Coyotes moved him into the top six and he responded with 26 goals and 25 assists, each second on the team to Jeremy Roenick.

Doan didn't reach his peak until eight seasons later, when he had 28 goals and 78 points in 2007-08, and 31 goals and 73 points the following season. That makes him one of 14 players to top 70 points twice in his 30s without doing so previously.

How great was his peak? Doan played for Canada at the 2006 Torino Olympics and finished sixth in voting for First-Team NHL All-Star in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Those accolades suggest he was viewed as one of the League's top 20 forwards.

Statistically, a player's peak is measured using three seasons, in order to avoid temporary fluctuations. From 2006-07 through 2008-09, Doan had 206 points (86 goals, 120 assists) in 235 games, which ranked 28th in the NHL.

Not all of Doan's contributions can be measured in goals and assists because he was a physical player who was trusted to prevent goals as reliably as he scored them.

There are catch-all statistics that attempt to measure all of a player's contributions into a single number. The most popular one that goes back across all of Doan's career is Tom Awad's Goals Versus Threshold (GVT), which estimates how many goals a player scored and/or prevented, relative to the best available replacement in the American Hockey League (or elsewhere).

From that perspective, Doan's peak performance improved the Coyotes by 37.6 goals in that three-season peak, which would place him just outside the League's top 50 players. Historically, that places his peak near those of other respected forwards Jeff O'Neill, Vinny Prospal and Brian Bellows.

Video: ARI@NSH: Doan blasts one-timer into the twine


Doan's career isn't remarkable for the height of its peak, but for how long and consistently he played near that level, and how much that meant to the franchise.

Starting with his promotion to the top lines in 1999-00, Doan has scored at least 20 goals in a season 13 times, which ranks third behind Jarome Iginla (15) and Marian Hossa (14) in that same span.

Doan has been a critical source of consistent scoring and leadership for the Coyotes. In 2003-04, he was named captain. In the following seven seasons, he had 181 goals and 455 points in 550 games, and led the Coyotes in scoring all seven seasons. The next highest-scoring player on the team was Ed Jovanovski, who had 164 points.


What can we look for from Doan this season, and will it be his last?

His future didn't look bright in 2014-15, when he had 14 goals and 22 assists, and a minus-29 rating that was eighth-worst in the League.

Playing on a line with Brad Richardson and either Jordan Martinook or Max Domi, Doan bounced back last season as one of the Coyotes' most valuable top-six forwards and was a key factor in their scoring. Doan took fewer shots on goal (170) than in 2014-15 (189) but doubled his goal-scoring because of an NHL career-high 16.5 shooting percentage.

In new shot-based metrics, Doan has placed his team at an advantage in every season when they have been recorded, dating to 2010-11. In the past six seasons, the percentage of shot attempts taken by the Coyotes has been 48.7 percent with Doan on the ice, 47.6 percent when he's not.

It certainly appears he can continue to play for as long as he desires, but the rise of young forwards Domi, Anthony Duclair and Dylan Strome eventually will push Doan down the depth chart. Even then, his leadership and experience will be a key asset, helping to guide Coyotes back into Stanley Cup Playoff contention.

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