Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan ended an offseason of pseudo-suspense and announced he would remain a Coyote at a press conference on Friday saying, "I want to see us raise a banner here in the building and I want to be here to do it."
As a lockout looms over the NHL's shoulder and with the Coyotes finally about to have a sale go through, Doan signed a four-year contract worth $21.2 million with a $2 million signing bonus. The deal was completed one day before the NHL will lock out the players after a new collective bargaining agreement couldn't be reached.
Doan is a 16-year Coyote veteran and ignored offers from other franchises to stick with the only team he has known. He scored 22 goals and had 28 assists in 79 games last year as he helped lead the Coyotes to their first Western Conference Finals. The eventual Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings eliminated the Coyotes in five games.
The instability of the Coyote's ownership hampered Doan signing with the team earlier in the offseason. He became a free agent on July 1 and expressed his desire to play with Phoenix often.
"This was as far as I could push it without going crazy, I think," Doan said.
Now 35, Doan has been a member of the Coyotes since the Winnipeg Jets chose him in the 1995 NHL Draft.
The playoff run last year gave Doan hope for the future. He waited until July 9 to start negotiations after the lease agreement with new owner Greg Jamison became clearer.
"It kind of came down to me continuing what we started here," Doan said. "The Last three years are arguable as much fun as I've had in the NHL, and last year in the playoffs was amazing and I want to do it again."
Keeping the face of his franchise was one of the easier decisions Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney has had to make. His tenure as captain of the Coyotes is tied for second longest among active NHL players.
"We are thrilled to sign Shane to a long-term contract," Maloney said in a statement. "Shane is our captain and the heart and soul of our franchise. He is the consummate professional and one of the best leaders in the NHL. His loyalty, commitment, integrity and passion for the game epitomize everything you'd want in a player. It was a priority for us to sign him to a long-term deal so that he can play for the Coyotes for the remainder of his career."