Shane Doan bullish on Arizona Coyotes desert future

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Shane Doan bullish on Arizona Coyotes desert future
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Shane Doan isn’t close to done playing hockey. 

In fact, the 39-year-old Coyotes captain appears to be re-energized by a summer that saw his team’s desert future go from being in peril to stable with a new two-year arena lease.

Per Fox Sports Arizona:

Doan, who turns 39 in October, said he has no plans to waive his no-move clause and request a trade in the final year of his contract. He also said he wants to keep playing beyond this year.

"I always want to approach it that way until I know I'm done," he said. "I'd like to have a good year. If I feel I can still help the team and they still want me, we can go from there."

It’s not exactly an about-face from Doan, who in March sounded morose about the Coyotes and his future with them. But his words are clearly much more positive.

That was during Arizona’s tank job, which eventually landed the Coyotes the No. 3 pick in the draft and Dylan Strome.

At one point, Doan called Arizona’s tanking/losing “embarrassing.”

Doan has one year left on his contract at a $5.3 million salary cap hit. That’s a lot to give to a 39-year-old. He had 36 points last season, his lowest total since the 1998-99 season when he had 22 points in 79 games. If the Coyotes again seem out of the playoffs, does that make Doan a possible trade candidate?

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He’s making $4.55 million in real dollars next season, which could make him attractive to small market contending teams, looking to not take on a full salary.

Doan doesn’t seem to think that’s going to happen. The Coyotes made several acquisitions this summer, re-acquiring Antoine Vermette and Zybnek Michalek and adding Brad Richardson and Nicklas Grossman.

These don’t qualify as game-changing moves, but they’re all guys who can step in next year and add depth to Arizona.

Again, from Fox Sports:

 "We made a lot of moves this summer, and all of them were for legitimate, really good NHL players," Doan said. "I think it is everyone's goal again to put ourselves in a position where we can see good things happening.

In an interview with Puck Daddy, Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc said of Doan, “I don’t think you could pull that guy out of here with a crane.” 

Doan was recently named The Valley’s most popular sports figure, beating out a bunch of Arizona Cardinals, including adored wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Doan received a whopping 70 percent of the vote in the online poll on azcentral.com.

"Obviously it's kind of surprising," Doan said in a statement released by the team. "I'm a Valley sports fan, too, and a pretty big fan of some of those other guys on the list so I would have picked them ahead of me."

Then again, Doan is a pretty emotional guy. He loves Arizona but he’s also never won a Stanley Cup. The Coyotes, in spite of their young talent including Strome, Anthony Duclair and Max Domi are still a solid two years away from contending.

Fans and the Coyotes would totally understand if Doan wanted to chase a Cup elsewhere. Then again he's had this opportunity before, such as when he signed his contract with Arizona as an unrestricted free agent in 2012. He opted to stay with the Coyotes despite interest from bigger market, higher spending teams.  

Doan's clearly loyal, but what he says in August may have little meaning on his thoughts in February. 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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