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Shane Doan calmer about Martin Hanzal trade

Coyotes captain still sad to see longtime teammate go, says job 'is to play the game'

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / Staff Writer

BOSTON -- To a large degree, the emotions of Sunday had dissipated by Tuesday morning. That is not to say that Arizona Coyotes forward Shane Doan was any happier about the trade that had sent center Martin Hanzal and forward Ryan White to the Minnesota Wild for a package of picks and a prospect. But the charged words and charged feelings, expressed in an interview conducted during a game on Sunday, had simmered down for Doan. 

"I think that as a player it's impossible at times not to have your opinions and, yet, at the same time to realize that you're just a player," Doan said after the Coyotes' morning skate ahead of their game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET; NESN, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV). "It doesn't really matter and that's kind of where it sometimes gets away from you and you sometimes want to give your opinion.

"At the same time you have to respect the authority that's above you. That's what our jobs are. That's the way hockey works. You understand that people are above you and your job is to play the game."

This is not the first time that Doan has been through this. The captain has watched as teammates have been shipped out of Arizona, highlighted -- or lowlighted -- by the trading of Keith Yandle and Antoine Vermette before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline.

Those trades, too, shook Doan. 

Video: Mike Russo on price Wild paid for Martin Hanzal

"When you're a seller, it makes it way more difficult," he said. "Over the years, losing guys that you're close with always makes it tough. … Every year it seems that there's guys that go and it makes it a little more difficult."

Doan himself has not ruled out being moved before the deadline (3 p.m. ET on March 1), though he has not waived his no-trade clause, nor has he been asked to do so. He has played all 21 of his NHL seasons for the Winnipeg Jets/Coyotes.

"We've talked off and on about different things," Doan said of himself and general manager John Chayka. "They've been so respectful to me with whatever happens, it's been good."

And this move, trading Hanzal and White, has not changed the way that Doan looks at his future in Arizona. They are, in his mind, separate things. 

"As a player, my future is pretty close to over, so it's one of those things that you don't worry too much about," said Doan, 40. "As a fan of the Coyotes, I really, really wish that Marty was around for a long time because I think he's a good player, 6-6 centermen are hard to find that play both ends of the ice, [he] really wants to be here, really wanted to be a part of this. He was disappointed and upset when he had to leave. But talking to him now, [I] talked to him yesterday, he's really excited."

Video: Wild land Martin Hanzal in trade with Coyotes

Meanwhile, Doan remains in Arizona, as the Coyotes change around him -- and not for the better, at least not in the near term. Which doesn't make this time of year easy.

But Doan also knows that there's a solution. 

"Be better," Doan said. "[If] you don't want to be in this situation, then be better as a team. That's kind of the way it goes." 

The trade was addressed in the dressing room by coach Dave Tippett after it happened, with the message being that the team needs to move forward. As Doan said, "As a player, your job is to find ways to win hockey games. You're a professional. You get paid a lot of money to play a sport. You've got to understand that. Some parts of it you don't like, and that's one of the parts."

He remembers the good years, the times that the Coyotes were buyers at the trade deadline instead of sellers, when they welcomed new additions instead of saying goodbye to treasured teammates. That was not the case this season, and so Doan had to see a close friend sent away.

"Sometimes as a player you appreciate things so much that when you lose them, it makes it tough," Doan said. "Marty had been with us since 2005. We drafted him and got to watch him become the player he is, and [I'm] just a huge, huge supporter of him. He's so valuable."

The admiration is such that, upon making his debut for the Wild on Monday, Hanzal opted for No. 19, the number that Doan wears in Arizona, when his usual No. 11 was unavailable because Zach Parise wears it.

After the game on Monday, Doan and Hanzal spoke, leading to one of the few light moments of the past few days. As Doan said with a laugh: "I asked him about it. I said thanks. He told me it was the only one available."

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