I caught up with Shane Doan on Friday to clarify comments that appeared in a short Sportsnet blog post Thursday with the title: Shane Doan takes a step back from his role with the Arizona Coyotes.
It wasn’t the first time I had this conversation with Doan, who joined the Coyotes in January 2021 as director of hockey development after retiring as a player in 2017. I noted after the NHL Draft in Montreal in June that Doan’s contract was expiring. I updated the situation in successive mailbags in July and August, noting that: “Nothing has been announced, but I expect Shane Doan to take a step back from the organization while remaining present and involved in various capacities next season. How much might depend on what else he has to do.
On Friday, Doan pointed to that earlier assessment.
“It’s the same thing I told you weeks ago; nothing has changed,” he said. “I’m stepping back from some of the things I did last year on the business side, but I’ll still have a role with the business side and I’ll have an informal role with the hockey side.
“I want the Coyotes to succeed. I want this arena deal to succeed, but I’m stepping back for other opportunities I have in the works or that may come up, and I’m stepping back to spend time with my wife [Andrea], to watch my son Carson play football, to watch my son Josh play hockey at ASU. And my girls are home and we have dinners on Sundays so I don’t want to miss those nights. It really is. It’s really important to me.
Doan’s youngest daughter, Karys, is attending ASU’s Barrett Honors College, while her oldest daughter, Gracie, has returned home to work at a start-up while the family awaits the premiere of the film ‘Stealing In Suburbia’. ” in which she appears.
“I like that I can stop and have lunch with Karys and do things with her. And Gracie came back from California, so I can hang out with her when she calls and wants to have lunch with me,” Shane said. want to watch Josh’s games Friday and Saturday I want to watch Carson’s games Thursday and the kids are coming home Sunday for dinner.
At the same time, Doan is keeping his options open for other opportunities that may arise. He has served Hockey Canada in many capacities, most recently as General Manager at the 2022 Olympics and World Championship. He also worked three years in hockey operations with the NHL before taking on his current role with the Coyotes. He’s part of the Kamloops Blazers ownership group of the WHL, he’s been in the NHL locker room for over two decades and he loves the hockey side of things more than ever.
I asked Doan what he would do for the Coyotes this season.
“I always have excellent communication with [team president and CEO] xavier [Gutierrez] and I’m involved in helping out in every area I can be involved in,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll help with the foundation and I’ll help with the alumni because I want it to work well for them. I want everything to work well. I meet a sponsor on the 21st; have lunch with them. I will do everything I can to help this franchise succeed.
“I will support [GM] Invoice [Armstrong] informally in hockey operations. I’ll be around.
Gutierrez reiterated Doan’s importance to the franchise.
“Shane continues to be an employee of the Coyotes and an extremely valuable member of our organization,” he said. “He is very involved in our business operations and reports to me, and has an invaluable voice in hockey operations, including an important role in decision-making. He is a valuable advisor to owner Alex Meruelo on all aspects of the Coyotes, especially with our efforts around the Tempe Entertainment District project. However, he will spend more time with his family and other opportunities in the future.