After spending more than two decades on the ice, Shane Doan is hanging up his skates.
In a heartfelt letter to fans published on Wednesday in the Arizona Republic, the former Arizona Coyotes forward announced his retirement from the NHL following a prosperous career that spanned 21 seasons.
"I'm so grateful and thankful to the Winnipeg Jets for drafting me and giving me a chance to play my rookie season and when the team moved to the Valley in 1996, all I wanted to know was if the Coyotes would keep giving me a chance to play," Doan wrote.
"I could not fathom at the time that I would end up playing in Arizona for the next 21 years, raise a family and call this place home. But that's exactly what happened.
"And that's why this has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I'm retiring from the NHL."
Doan, the seventh overall pick of the Jets in the 1995 NHL Draft, was the last active member of the first iteration of the 1995-96 squad before the franchise moved to Arizona the next year.
After serving as the team's captain from 2003 to 2017, Doan was informed on June 19 the Coyotes would not be re-signing him and he became an unrestricted free agent.
Doan, 40, finished his career as the team's leader in games played (1,540), shots (3,945), goals (402), assists (570), points (972), power-play goals (128) and game-winning goals (69). A two-time All-Star selection, his 1,540 games played is also tied with John Bucyk for 14th on the league's all-time list.
"I felt an indescribable wave of emotion to have the support that I've had over the years from the fans throughout all of the uncertainty," Doan wrote.
"You have always defended me and supported me. Playing in front of you has honestly been one of the greatest experiences of my life."
|Juventus lost composure amid Sampdoria onslaught - Allegri|
|Exeter capitalise on Saracens defeat to top Premiership|
|Race to Dubai winner Fleetwood hails ´biggest day of my career´|
|Dutch Grand Prix a ´realistic´ prospect from 2020|
|Sampdoria 3 Juventus 2: Champions slip further off the pace after thriller|
|Coleman confirmed as Sunderland boss|
|I was just injured - Belgium´s Nainggolan blasts ´stupid´ claims of feigned ailment|
|Leeds United 2 Middlesbrough 1: Losing streak snapped to ease pressure on Christiansen|
|Ioane and Romano to miss All Blacks´ Wales clash|
|One punch only! Tete retains world title with 11-second knockout|
|Hughes backs Giggs for Wales job|
|Bennett: Social media clip prompted Brown withdrawal|
|Memorable Ashes Moments: Anderson and Panesar defy Australia in Cardiff|
|Madrid confirm Ramos´ broken nose after derby clash|
|Kane wants to retire with Tottenham|
|Mourinho: Man United lacked balance with attacking line-up|
|Fleetwood wins Race to Dubai after Rose wilts, Rahm claims tournament win|
|Pastore not considering PSG exit to help World Cup chances|
|Wenger, Ozil & Sanchez uncertainty affecting Arsenal, says Seaman|
|Dhawan, Rahul lead India revival in Kolkata|
|Silva not surprised by Chelsea, Spurs interest in Richarlison|
|Ancelotti, Conte, Allegri on shortlist to replace Ventura|
|Bencic doubles up with Taipei title|
|Perth Glory 0 Melbourne Victory 2: Visitors claim first A-League win of season|
|Bayliss calls for A-team matches on Ashes tours|
|Smith will bowl in the Ashes, says Lehmann|
|Marcelo unaware of Ramos-Ronaldo rift at Real Madrid|
|England book Tonga semi with PNG win|
|Celtics win 15th straight, 76ers in collapse against Warriors|
|Lehmann tells Australia: Get behind the Ashes team|
|Goffin revels in career-best win after upstaging Federer|
|Neymar will take PSG´s next penalty - Cavani|
|Ranieri would consider coaching Italy|
|It´s been an amazing year - Federer signs off for 2017 after London exit|
|Postecoglou set for decision on Socceroos future|
|Celtics coach Stevens wants more despite 14-game streak|
|Kerr: What Embiid did against the Lakers was terrifying|
|Cook extends lead at RSM Classic|
|Frampton beats Garcia by unanimous decision in front of Canelo|
|Championship Review: Millwall deny sloppy Sunderland, Wolves back on top|
|Simeone rallies around under-fire Griezmann|
|Hogg and Barclay ´gutted´ to let All Blacks escape|
|It´s a growth process - Montella optimistic despite Napoli loss|
|Spalletti happy at Inter, tips Ancelotti for Italy job|
|Sarri defends sacked Ventura over Insigne´s Italy snub|
|Los Blank-os! Misfiring Real Madrid break new ground under Zidane|
|Zidane upbeat despite derby stalemate|
|Zidane unsure on Ramos absence with suspected broken nose|
|Mind the gap! Real Madrid must make history to retain LaLiga title|
|Dimitrov denies Sock to book Goffin showdown|
|Springboks gain measure of revenge over 2023 RWC hosts France|
|Alonso fuels Le Mans talk with WEC rookie test|
|Napoli 2 AC Milan 1: Insigne stars after Italy snub as leaders move four points clear|
|Atletico Madrid 0 Real Madrid 0: Defences dominate in historic derby|
|Wasps sting Falcons, Warriors off the mark|
|Montpellier take charge of Top 14 as Lyon slip up|
|Pjaca scores winner for Juventus Primavera on return from injury|
|Jones bristles at suggestion England ´got lucky´|
|Lions don´t recover like humans! - Ibrahimovic and Pogba thrilled to be back|
|Pogba was different class - Mourinho praises midfielder after impressive comeback|
|Competition is good – PSG boss Emery explains benching Mbappe|
|Klopp apologises after Moreno misses birth of child|
|Experimental Ireland XV survives Fiji scare|
|Cheika makes no excuses after controversial calls hurt Australia|
|Valiant Scotland fall short against clinical All Blacks|
|Manchester United 4 Newcastle United 1: Pogba shines as Ibrahimovic makes his return|
|Hodgson accuses Niasse of diving to win Everton penalty|
|´Why not?´ - Hazard believes Chelsea can catch City|
|Roma 2 Lazio 1: Nainggolan stunner proves decisive|
|Bournemouth hat-trick hero Wilson: I need to be selfish|