Phoenix Coyotes' Shane Doan controls the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff action in Chicago, April 23, 2012. Doan is staying in the desert.The Phoenix Coyotes' captain signed a four-year, US$21.2-million contract with the team on Friday, getting the deal in just before the NHL's expected lockout. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP - Nam Y. Huh
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Shane Doan is staying in the desert.
The Phoenix Coyotes' captain signed a four-year, US$21.2-million contract with the team on Friday, getting the deal in just before the NHL's expected lockout.
Doan became a free agent on July 15, but didn't sign while waiting for the Coyotes' ownership situation to clear up. He spoke with several other teams, but said all along that he wanted to remain in Phoenix.
With owner-in-waiting Greg Jamison working on a restructured lease agreement with the City of Glendale and close to buying the team from the NHL, Doan pulled the trigger on a deal to stay in the desert just before the NHL's current collective bargaining agreement expires Saturday night.
"I'm extremely excited about remaining a Coyote," Doan said in a statement. "I was drafted by this organization and it means a great deal to me to be able to play with the same franchise my entire career. I'm very excited about our team, our coaching staff and our management and am confident about our future in Arizona.
"I chose to stay with the Coyotes because I am committed to winning here, not anywhere else, and I love living and playing in the Valley. This is my home and this is my team."
The lone remaining player from the Coyotes' Winnipeg days, Doan is the NHL's active leader in games played with one team, lacing up 1,198 times since being drafted with the seventh overall pick of the 1995 draft.
Doan has been the face of the franchise pretty much since it arrived in Phoenix in 1996 and has been one of the most popular athletes to play in the Phoenix area. Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash left to join the Los Angeles Lakers and the potential of losing Doan left many fans in the area frustrated.
Considered one of the NHL's best captains and one of its most respected players, Doan was awarded the Mark Messier Leadership Award last season for his contributions on and off the ice.
At 35, he proved to still be a force on the ice last season, leading the Coyotes to the Western Conference finals for the first time.
Doan had 22 goals and 28 assists last season to finish third on the team in scoring, notching his first career hat trick and 300th career goal early in the season.
The 17-year veteran had five goals and four assists in 16 playoff games, helping the Coyotes win their first NHL division title and get within three games of the Stanley Cup finals.