It's hard to imagine a Phoenix Coyotes team without Shane Doan, simply because there hasn't been one.
Doan was drafted fifth-overall by the then Winnipeg Jets in 1995 and made the move to the desert when the team relocated the season after.
Doan assumed the captaincy in 2003–04, and has been the most consistent aspect of the Coyotes franchise since then. His resigning Friday, for a reported four years and $21.2 million, secured that Doan will be a Coyote lifer.
Things have not been rainbows in butterflies this offseason in Phoenix. Greg Jamison was on the verge of purchasing the team, but struggles with the city of Glendale have led to complications in the sale and lease agreement.
Doan was supposedly waiting for the deal to go through before resigning, but with the NHL players set to be locked out by the owners at midnight Saturday, he had no choice.
"I wish that it was completely done, and well it's not done," Doan said. "The questions have been answered in regards to Mr. Jamison having the money and Mr. Jamison having the approval from the league supposedly. He's just waiting on the lease agreement, and those three things line up then this will be done. That's kind of where we're at."
It was never clear if Doan would stay or go. While it was hard to imagine that Doan would leave the city he had called home for 15 years, he was the most sought after player on the NHL free agent market for the majority of the offseason. At one point or another, he was linked to nearly every NHL team.
What Doan's signing does is bring stability to the Coyotes franchise—which have been anything but that lately.
The Coyotes had their campaign in franchise history last year, but the faces in the locker room will look tremendously different this year. Veterans Ray Whitney, Taylor Pyatt, Michal Rozsival and Adrian Aucoin all bolted for new teams this offseason.
One thing that won't change next season is who will be wearing the C. Having Doan around will do wonders for the team as they enter the 2012-13 season (when it does eventually start).
"It was enticing to hear the offers, but this came down to the job this organization has done over the last few years," Doan said of his decision.
Doan has been the model of loyalty during career with the Coyotes franchise. His resigning Friday secures that he will go down as the greatest player in Coyotes history.