Top 10 Arizona sports stories of the year, as selected by FOX Sports Arizona staff.
Shane Doan had 30 options the day he became an unrestricted free agent following the Coyotes’ landmark Western Conference final run. Depending on which media outlets you read, there was a good chance of him landing in at least half of those NHL cities.
Philadelphia media had him headed there. Chicago media had him headed there. Boston, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, New York and — this one’s worth a good laugh — Montreal.
But those who have covered the Coyotes long-time captain knew something about him those outsiders did not. They saw a quality in him, loyalty, that precluded all but one option.
Doan and agent Terry Bross insisted the Coyotes sale had to be completed to Greg Jamison before Doan would re-sign, but even that ended up being a ruse. Doan’s family loves the Valley, and so does Doan. His life, his game, his very soul is woven into the fabric of this community.
So with the future of the team — and the league — still very much in doubt, the face of the franchise ended the speculation on Sept. 14 when he agreed to a four-year, $21.5 million deal (with a $2 million signing bonus) that will keep him in Phoenix through the 2015-16 season.
In hindsight, the decision seemed like a no-brainer, given the unprecedented highs Doan experienced during the season — the painfully long-awaited first career hat trick and the even more painfully long-awaited first (and second) playoff series victories.
“I dragged this thing on as long as I possibly could,” Doan said to a chorus of laughter during his press conference at Jobing.com Arena. “It kind of came down to me continuing what we started here. I want to see us raise a banner here in this building, and I want to be here to do it.