I caught up with Shane Doan on Friday to clarify comments that appeared in a short blog by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Thursday with the headline: Shane Doan takes ‘step back’ from role with Arizona Coyotes.
It wasn’t the first time I’ve had this conversation with Doan, who rejoined the Coyotes in January 2021 as chief hockey development officer after retiring as a player in 2017. I noted after the NHL Draft in Montreal in June that Doan’s contract was about to expire. I updated the situation in back-to-back mailbags in July and August, noting that: “Nothing has been announced, but I expect Shane Doan to take a step back from the organization but still be around and involved in various capacities next season. How much may depend on how much else he has going on.”
On Friday, Doan reiterated that earlier assessment.
“It’s the same thing I told you weeks ago; nothing has changed,” he said. “I’m taking a step 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 on the hockey side.
“I want the Coyotes to succeed. I want this arena deal to succeed, but I’m taking a step back for other opportunities that I have going on or maybe coming up and I’m taking a step 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 daughters have come home and we have Sunday dinners so I don’t want to miss those evenings. It really is what it is. It’s really important to me.”
Doan’s younger daughter, Karys, attends ASU’s Barrett Honors College, while his older daughter, Gracie, has returned home to work for a start-up while the family awaits the premiere of the movie “Stealing In Suburbia,” in which she stars.
“I enjoy being able to come over and have lunch with Karys and do things with her. And Gracie moved home from California so I can spend time with her when she calls and wants to have lunch with me,” Shane said. “I’ll watch Josh’s games on Friday and Saturday. I’ll watch Carson’s games on Thursday, and the kids come home on Sunday for dinner.”
At the same time, Doan keeps his options open for other opportunities that may arise. He has already served Hockey Canada in several capacities, most recently as its GM at the 2022 Olympics and World Cup. He also spent three years in hockey operations with the NHL before taking his current role with the Coyotes. He’s part of the ownership of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, he’s been around NHL locker rooms for more than two decades, and he loves the hockey side of things as much as ever.
I asked Doan what he wanted to do for the Coyotes this season.
“I still have good communication with [team president and CEO] Xavier [Gutierrez] and I’m involved in helping in every area I can be involved in,” he said. “I am sure that I will help with the foundation and I will help with the alumni because I want it to work well for them. I want everything to work well. I am meeting with a sponsor on the 21st; have lunch with them. I will do whatever I can to help this franchise succeed.
“I will support [GM] Bill [Armstrong] in an informal way in hockey ops. I will be around.”
Gutierrez reiterated Doan’s importance to the franchise.
“Shane remains an employee of the Coyotes and an extremely valuable member of our organization,” he said. “He is heavily involved in our business operations, reporting to me, and has an invaluable voice in hockey operations, including a significant role in decision-making. He is a valued advisor to owner Alex Meruelo in all aspects of the Coyotes, particularly with our efforts around the proposed Tempe Entertainment District. However, he wants to spend more time with his family and other opportunities in the future.”