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Shane Doan among one-franchise stalwarts

Coyotes captain signs to return for 21st season

NHL.com @NHL

Shane Doan joined rare company when he played his 20th season with the Arizona Coyotes franchise, and the forward further separated himself when he signed a one-year contract Tuesday to come back for a 21st season.

Ten other NHL players have played at least 20 seasons and stayed with one team for his entire career. Of those 10, four played more than 20 seasons. It's a notable accomplishment, regardless of the era when it happened, whether the obstacle was free agency, trades, player health, or any combination of those.

Doan has been one of the leaders for the Coyotes, who moved to Arizona after he played one season with the Winnipeg Jets, and he has helped them reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs nine times, including a first trip to the Western Conference Final in 2012.

Here are the other 10 players to have played at least 20 seasons and their entire career with one franchise (listed in order of his first season):

Dit Clapper, Boston Bruins, 20 seasons, 1927-47

Clapper was the first NHL player to play 20 seasons and was a member of one of the first lines to earn a nickname. The "Dynamite Line" of Clapper, Cooney Weiland and Dutch Gainor earned the name after it exhibited immediate chemistry in 1927-28. The forwards took full advantage of NHL rule changes in 1929-30 that essentially eliminated offside and scored 102 of the Bruins' 179 goals in 44 games. Clapper scored 41, and had 228 goals and 474 points in 833 regular-season games, and 13 goals and 30 points in 82 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

You may remember his name from "Slap Shot," when Paul Newman as Reggie Dunlop says, "Old-time hockey ... Toe Blake, Dit Clapper, Eddie Shore. Those guys were the greats!" At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Clapper was a giant in his era but used his size without crossing the line, though in one notable incident punched referee Clarence Campbell for not calling a penalty on Dave Trottier, who shoved his stick in Clapper's face.

Clapper won the Stanley Cup three times (1929, 1939, 1941), the most of any player in Bruins history.

George Armstrong, Toronto Maple Leafs, 21 seasons, 1949-1971

Regarded as one of the Maple Leafs' greatest leaders, Armstrong was captain for 13 of his 21 seasons and won the Stanley Cup four times. He was named an assistant general manager for Toronto and was coach for a portion of the 1988-89 season. Armstrong is a scout with the Maple Leafs at the age of 86.

He scored 296 goals in 1,187 regular-season games, but his leadership contributions were such that Conn Smythe once said he was "the best captain, as a captain, the Leafs have ever had," and named one of his horses after the Maple Leafs forward. Armstrong was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975.

Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens, 20 seasons, 1950-1971

Beliveau played 18 full seasons with the Canadiens. The forward made his debut in 1950 and was called up from his Quebec Senior Hockey League team in each of the following two seasons before the Canadiens owners bought his QSHL team in an effort to force him to turn pro. The move clearly paid off. By 1956, his third full season in the NHL, Beliveau was collecting trophies and became the first NHL player to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He is arguably the most revered Canadiens player in Montreal.

He won the Stanley Cup 10 times as a player and seven in the front office, the most of anyone to date. He scored 507 goals and 1,219 points in 1,125 regular-season games, and 79 goals and 176 points in 162 playoff games. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.

Alex Delvecchio, Detroit Red Wings, 24 seasons, 1950-1974

"Fats" was a brilliant playmaker, one of the game's true gentlemen, and one of the most durable players of all time. An ankle injury caused him to miss 22 games in 1956-57, and he missed 17 games in 21 other seasons. He played 12 games total in his first and last seasons.

A three-time Lady Byng Trophy winner, Delvecchio was a popular player in the locker room and a consistent performer up to his final season in 1973-74. The forward scored 20 goals 12 times and had 456 goals and 1,281 points in 1,549 regular-season games, plus 35 goals and 104 points in 121 playoff games.

Delvecchio and Gordie Howe helped each other reach milestones toward the end of Delvecchio's career. Howe earned his 1,000th assist on a Delvecchio goal, and Delvecchio did so on Howe's 700th goal. Delvecchio became Red Wings coach after he retired and went on to be a successful businessman.

Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens, 20 seasons, 1955-1975

Richard is as beloved as any Canadiens player. He was born in Montreal and became an integral part of 11 Stanley Cup championship teams.

Richard finished with 129 points in 180 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He scored the game-winning goal in a Cup-clinching game twice (1966, 1971), and his 12 points were tied with Bernie Geoffrion when Montreal went 8-0 in the 1960 playoffs.

Nicknamed "Pocket Rocket" because he was smaller and younger than his brother Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Henri played 1,256 regular-season games, most in Canadiens history. His 1,046 points are third (Guy Lafleur, 1,236; Jean Beliveau, 1,219). Richard was enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.

Video: 1971 Cup Final, Gm7: Henri Richard lifts Habs

Stan Mikita, Chicago Blackhawks, 22 seasons, 1958-1980

Mikita is one of the finest Original Six-era players in NHL history and a legend in Chicago. The forward is first on the Blackhawks' all-time list for games played (1,394), assists (926) and points (1,467), and his 541 goals trail Bobby Hull (604).

Mikita was born in Czechoslovakia and raised in the Toronto suburb of St. Catharines, Ontario. He helped the Blackhawks reach the Stanley Cup Final five times and won the Stanley Cup in 1961, their only championship from 1938-2010.

Mikita (5-foot-9, 169 pounds) was something of an innovator; he popularized the curved stick and was one of the first to wear a helmet. When he retired in 1980, Mikita trailed Gordie Howe and Phil Esposito on the NHL scoring list. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.

Ken Daneyko, New Jersey Devils, 20 seasons, 1983-2003

Daneyko was the second player New Jersey selected in the first round of the 1982 NHL Draft, and he ended up sticking around a little longer than Rocky Trottier, who played 38 games in the NHL. When Daneyko was selected, they weren't yet the Devils because they had just moved from Colorado and hadn't chosen a name. So the "Mr. Devil" nickname was fitting as much for his playing contributions as being synonymous with their existence.

Daneyko was a quintessential gritty player with 2,519 penalty minutes. The defenseman played in every Devils playoff game until he was scratched in Game 4 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, then was put back in the lineup and played the last shift of Game 7 to win the Stanley Cup for a third time. He retired after that with 36 goals and 178 points in 1,283 regular-season games.

Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings, 22 seasons, 1983-2006

Yzerman never spent a day in the minors after the Red Wings selected him with the fourth pick of the 1983 NHL Draft. The center had 1,755 points in 1,514 regular-season games, which ranks second in Detroit history (Gordie Howe, 1,809) and seventh in NHL history. He won the Stanley Cup three times, including the 1997 championship that ended a 42-year drought.

He was captain for 19 seasons, from 1986-87 until he retired after the 2005-06 season. His 65 goals and 155 points in 1988-89 are Red Wings records. In 1990-91, he led Detroit with 108 points and helped start an active streak of 25 straight Stanley Cup Playoff berths.

Yzerman continued his career as an executive in Detroit before being named Tampa Bay Lightning general manager in 2010.

Video: Steve Yzerman, laid flat, sets up Pat Verbeek goal

Joe Sakic, Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, 20 seasons, 1988-2009

Sakic was for 16 seasons (1992-2009). He helped the Nordiques become the Eastern Conference's top seed in 1994-95, their final season in Quebec, then eased the move to Colorado with a Stanley Cup championship in the first season of the Avalanche in 1995-96.

The Avalanche reached the Western Conference Final six times in their first seven seasons in Colorado and won the Stanley Cup twice. Sakic won the Conn Smythe in 1996 after scoring 34 points in 22 playoff games. He scored 118 points in 2000-01 before helping Colorado to a seven-game victory against the New Jersey Devils in the 2001 Cup Final, and the cleaned up at the NHL Awards, winning the Hart Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Trophy.

His 1,641 points are the most in Nordiques/Avalanche history, and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. Sakic has been in the Avalanche front office since 2011 and is executive vice president of hockey operations.

Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings, 20 seasons, 1991-2012

Lidstrom may go down as one of the greatest steals in the history of the NHL Draft. The defenseman, a seven-time Norris Trophy winner, was selected by Detroit in the third round (No. 53) of the 1989 draft and finished his career with 15 seasons of at least 50 points and 1,142 points in 1,564 games.

Lidstrom played on four Stanley Cup championship teams, made six Stanley Cup Final appearances, and helped Detroit reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his 20 seasons.  

Lidstrom also was runner-up for the Norris Trophy three straight seasons from 1998-2000 before winning it six of seven times from 2000-08. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

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