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."
|Booed Emery praises PSG´s mental strength|
|Cavani hails ´good reaction´ as PSG bounce back in style|
|Thiem breezes past Monfils to set up Bedene showdown|
|Mourinho wants referees to have final say on VAR|
|Genoa 2 Inter 0: Pandev piles misery on old employers|
|Manchester United to host Brighton in FA Cup quarter-finals|
|Leinster see off Scarlets as Munster come up short in Cardiff|
|New No.1 Federer earns gritty Seppi win to book Rotterdam final|
|Mata ´still up for VAR´ despite disallowed goal at Huddersfield|
|Valverde: Barcelona had to suffer at Eibar|
|Championship Review: Fulham end Villa run, Cardiff pounce|
|Resilient Kvitova ousts Wozniacki in Doha thriller|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester United 2: Lukaku sends visitors through after VAR controversy|
|Toomua inspires Tigers win over Quins, Worcester beat Gloucester|
|Bayern Munich boss Heynckes hails game-changing Muller|
|Locadia benefiting from ´competitive´ Brighton - Hughton|
|Baby on board? Alba dedicates Barca goal to girlfriend|
|West Brom future ´not a decision for me´, says Pardew|
|Lions get De Bruin off to winning start|
|Paris Saint-Germain 5 Strasbourg 2: Cavani at the double in bounce-back win|
|Bar-celona! Messi posts unwanted record|
|Barca go 31 LaLiga games unbeaten to tie club record|
|Mourinho: I don´t know and I don´t care when Pogba returns|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 3 Coventry City 1: Locadia, Ulloa lead Seagulls to quarter-finals|
|EIbar 0 Barcelona 2: Suarez and Alba seal points as Orellana sees red|
|West Brom 1 Southampton 2: Rondon stunner in vain as Baggies drop out|
|Wolfsburg 1 Bayern Munich 2: Lewandowski spot-on after Robben´s penalty miss|
|I hope Cutrone finds a beautiful girlfriend so he can rest and make love - Gattuso|
|Wellens claims Ruta del Sol lead, Froome suffers puncture|
|Goffin forced to retire in Rotterdam following freak eye injury|
|Allegri denies Champions League ´obsession´ ahead of Turin derby|
|Barry, Evans start for West Brom after training camp incident|
|Bottas unaffected by ´Halo´ on simulation runs|
|Sheffield Wednesday 0 Swansea City 0: Carvalhal settles for replay on Hillsborough return|
|Management ´tiring´ but Zidane not ready to leave Madrid just yet|
|Thiago back for Bayern as Heynckes rests stars for Besiktas|
|Simeone urges Atletico fans to get behind Griezmann|
|Robben amazed by Guardiola´s impact at Manchester City|
|Three-way tie for lead in Oman as Pavon falls away|
|McIlroy frustrated by added scrutiny of playing with Woods|
|Morgan to take it slow with Stokes and backs Rashid|
|Pogba out of Man Utd´s Huddersfield trip with illness|
|A-League Review: Perth ´Panenka´ punished, 10-man Adelaide rescue late draw|
|Dragons and Rabbitohs see off Super League opponents|
|Robben targets two more years at the ´highest level´|
|Rashford and Herrera ´have a chance´ of making Sevilla trip|
|Mixed feelings for Tiger Woods after missed cut at Riviera|
|Emery defends PSG star Neymar after Madrid display|
|Nishikori stays hot in New York as Anderson awaits|
|Kevin Durant: Laura Ingraham´s ignorant comment was racist|
|Thiem sets up Monfils semi-final showdown|
|Mahrez saga now over, says Leicester boss Puel|
|Cantlay, McDowell and Saunders top at Riviera as Woods makes early exit|
|Tiger Woods misses cut at Genesis Open|
|Astros manager Hinch on Cole: He doesn´t need to be fixed|
|Alonso to return for Barca clash but Bakayoko set to miss first leg – Conte|
|Mourinho: Manchester United will sign a midfielder|
|Record-breaking Federer rises back to summit, Goffin to meet Dimitrov|
|Kobe Bryant says Lakers ´shouldn´t need´ to recruit free agents|
|Federer pokes fun at himself after becoming oldest world number one|
|Woods to play Honda Classic as comeback continues|
|Glasgow Warriors book finals berth as Zebre upset Connacht|
|Conte given selection headache ahead of Barcelona clash|
|Atkins at the double as Warrington see off Widnes|
|Giroud ´relieved´ to get first Chelsea goal|
|Sarries scrap for Sale success|
|Records tumble in Federer´s latest remarkable ascent to the top|
|Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: Giroud scores and Willian stars as Blues reach last eight|
|Leicester City 1 Sheffield United 0: Vardy header secures quarter-final spot|
|Agassi congratulates Federer after losing rankings record|