Shane Doan had been opposed to a trade as his career has started to wind down, remaining adamant that he wanted to finish with the Arizona Coyotes, the only NHL team he’s ever known.
This season, the Coyotes captain hedged on that pledge a bit, saying he would be open to a trade if it was to a Stanley Cup-contending team.
No deal materialized at the NHL’s trade deadline Wednesday, keeping the league’s longest-tenured captain in the desert.
”Not a big market for a 40-year-old fourth liner who only wants to go to a contender,” Doan said with a laugh from Buffalo, where the Coyotes play Thursday.
Doan has been with the Coyotes since the franchise was in Winnipeg in 1995, following the team to the desert the next season. He has played 21 seasons with the Coyotes and become one of the iconic figures in Phoenix sports history.
Doan had a strong 2015-16 season, scoring 28 goals with 19 assists, but those totals have dropped a bit this season. The center enters Thursday’s game against the Sabres with five goals and 15 assists in 62 games with the rebuilding Coyotes.
Doan has a no-movement clause in his contract and said he was willing to waive it for the first time this season if the right team called.
No calls came, leaving Doan in Arizona for at least the rest of the season.
”It’s one of those things that as a player you’re excited about the opportunity to spend your whole career with one organization,” Doan said. ”At the same time, one way or the other there’s definitely an element of relief. It’s over and then you get to not have to think about it again.”
The Coyotes made one significant move before the deadline, sending center Martin Hanzal and forward Ryan White to the Minnesota Wild for three draft picks and minor leaguer Grayson Downing.
Right wing Radim Vrbata, who becomes a free agent after the season, was expected to be moved as well if the Coyotes could get a good deal. Arizona couldn’t get enough in return, so the 35-year-old will finish off the season in Arizona.
”Radim was a guy that unless it was a great offer, we were going to keep him,” Coyotes GM John Chayka said. ”You set your threshold and we were looking around to see if we could maximize our return like any player we have. We just decided at the end of the day to keep him.”
Vrbata was traded to the Coyotes from Chicago in 2007 and again by Tampa Bay in 2009. The Coyotes did not-resign him in 2014 and he played two seasons with Vancouver before signing a one-year deal with Arizona last offseason.
Vrbata has been one of the Coyotes’ most consistent players during a struggling season for the franchise – their 51 points are the second-fewest in the NHL – leading them with 15 goals and 47 assists.
”I’m happy about that,” Vrbata said of staying in Arizona. ”I was saying all along that there was a reason why I signed here and I wanted to finish the season here so I’m glad nothing happened and that would be the case.”