The most respected Arizona Coyote in franchise history is returning to the organization where he was beloved throughout his entire 21-year NHL career. Shane Doan was named Chief Hockey Development Officer on Monday, and he will play a role in both business and hockey operations in the front office moving forward.
The franchise’s all-time leader in points, goals, assists, and game-winning goals, Doan woke up with a different feeling going back into the confines of Gila River Arena on Monday for his introductory press conference.
“I’m not going to lie, waking up this morning was a lot more exciting than it’s been in the last little bit just because I knew it was going to happen today and have the opportunity to walk back into the building,” Doan said. “It was special…Being able to sit with Xavier (Gutierrez) and Bill (Armstrong), I can learn so much from talking and listening to both of them. That’s what we’ve talked about as a group and as an organization is that relationships matter and we care about the community. We want to make things better and add to people’s lives. As we do that, I think it will benefit us as an organization.”
As for the specifics of Doan’s role, he is going to have a hand in a variety of roles, both on and off the ice. When General Manager Bill Armstrong took over this summer, he wanted more “hockey minds” on his operation and scouting staff – people who live and breathe the game at all levels and are not afraid to grind around the country to find talent to replenish the farm system.
Armstrong believes Doan can fit right into that mix and his credibility over two-plus decades factors in. Prior to this new gig, Doan previously worked for the NHL league office in hockey operations, soaking in as much as he could and seeing how many different organization’s conduct their business.
“Having another hockey voice around really helps,” Armstrong said. “…Shane for me, was always in my vision of having him on board at that table with some of his input and his hockey knowledge. It’s a big add for us and we’re excited about having him.”
Some say he’s the face of the franchise.
To us, he’s the heart of the franchise. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/D95nbWucue
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) January 11, 2021
On the business side, Doan is likely going to play a hand in community involvement as well, with President Xavier Gutierrez explaining his vision for the Coyotes legend who still resides in the valley.
“Shane can be someone who has been here and who has deep relationships and a deep network. Specifically, there are a couple of areas that Shane and I have really talked about, and first and foremost is youth hockey,” Gutierrez said. “We want to create an umbrella and build a relationship with all of the youth hockey leagues and youth hockey rinks here…Clearly we can benefit from his knowledge, relationships, and network in that space.”
With Doan back in the building, the Coyotes will look to reap the benefits of an Arizona sports icon in building hockey in the desert. Ultimately, both Gutierrez and Armstrong viewed bringing him into the fold as too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Based on Doan’s resume both on the ice and in the community, and how adored he is by Coyotes fans, it was yet another quality person to add to the staff. From the league office, back to his old team, Doan is back where he always envisioned.
“I’ve been in the valley the whole time. I’ve seen the history of our team and the history of the organization,” Doan said. “There’s an understanding of where you’ve come from and it helps out when you’re planning the direction of where you’re going in the future.”