Shane Doan officially announces his retirement

Former Arizona Coyotes forward Shane Doan is done playing professional hockey.

Doan, 40, who was told on June 17 that the Coyotes were not interested in bringing him back for a 22nd season, announced his decision in a letter to the fans published Wednesday in the Arizona Republic.

“I could not fathom at the time that I would end up playing in Arizona for the next 21 years, raise a family and call this place home,” Doan wrote. “But that’s exactly what happened. And that’s why this has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I’m retiring from the NHL.”

“I’ve been blessed and I’m so grateful for the fans and their support. They stuck by me throughout my career and the ups and downs of the Coyotes. There are a lot of players with more skill than me and a lot more ability than me that didn’t ever get the type of appreciation that I got and the type of respect that the fans gave me, and I’m so grateful for that. I can’t express how much I appreciate it. Thank you for watching me grow up, and I enjoyed watching a lot of you grow up, too.

“I also want say thanks to the Coyotes, who provided me the opportunity to stay in the Valley for 21 years. That’s one of the most meaningful accomplishments of my career, and I’ll forever cherish the friendships I’ve made along the way.”

A complete text of the letter can be found here.

Thus ends a 21-year career spent entirely with the Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise that saw Doan establish himself as the franchise’s goodwill ambassador during its many ups and downs after it relocated to Arizona in 1996. He holds virtually every meaningful team record — including games played (1,540), goals (402), assists (570) and points (972).

The Coyotes issued the following statement regarding Doan’s retirement announcement.

“On behalf of the entire Arizona Coyotes organization, our fans and our corporate partners, we would like to thank Shane for everything that he’s done for our franchise over the past 21 years. Shane had an incredible career on the ice and we are very proud of everything that he accomplished in a Coyotes uniform. He will be remembered as one of the greatest captains in NHL history. Off the ice, Shane was a great ambassador for growing the game of hockey in Arizona and his contributions to the community are immeasurable. Shane will be a Coyote for life. Thank you Captain!”

Here is Shane Doan’s season-ending address to the fans at Gila River Arena in April.

Doan’s impact not only in Arizona but the hockey community as a whole was reflected in the social media response to his announcement.

Source: Fox Sports

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