Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 1/18/12

DALLAS - JANUARY 31: Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes celebrates his goal against the Dallas Stars in the third period at American Airlines Center on January 31, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Upon mentioning the team name Phoenix Coyotes to a non-hockey fan, the typical response is “Who?”  When I mention that I am a Coyotes fan to any hockey follower, it is usually accompanied a comment such as “They haven’t been moved to Canada yet?” or I may just receive a laugh at my expense.  Fact is, the team’s future in the desert is tenuous at best, with rumors of their demise possibly not being too greatly exaggerated (the Coyotes have been owned and operated by the NHL since losing their ownership for about 3 years).  Still, biases aside, the recent accomplishment of the Coyotes’ captain and longest tenured player is definitely worth recognizing.  Shane Doan scored a hat trick on January 7th in the Yotes 5-1 win against a pitiful Islanders squad.  It was the first hat trick of his long 16-year career that dates back to 1995, the year that original Winnipeg Jets relocated to the valley of the sun.  He did so in style, ripping a slap shot as time expired on New York goalie Evgeni Nabakov, who saw the puck sneak between his legs and across the line just as the final buzzer sounded.  Doan’s reaction was memorable.  He drifted backwards towards the boards, hunched over with a look of disbelief and bliss on his face after a long shift, before being mobbed by teammates.  Officials had to review the play but determined that the puck crossed the line with .1 seconds remaining on the clock, ending the longest hat trick drought in NHL history. 

Doan played over 1,000 games with the Winnipeg-Phoenix franchise, scored 307 goals, and had 39 two-goal games before finally notching 3 in one game this month.  Praise from former teammates, other players, and officials involved with the NHL was heaped Doan’s way through social media like Twitter; the well-respected Canadian has played for Team Canada in the Olympics and is a two-time All-Star.  Although he captains a maligned franchise, which has a future in the desert that’s uncertain at best, Doan’s career is truly impressive and he deserves the acclaim associated with breaking his hat trick drought.  Even if he starts and finishes his career with what many consider an irrelevant team, Doan has always conducted himself in a respectable and professional manner.  Hopefully the Coyotes reward him by bouncing back from last year’s first round playoff sweep at the hands of Detroit with the first playoff series victory since moving to Phoenix.

Next time, there will be more to come on relocation in the NHL regarding Gary Bettman and the impact of moving the Atlanta Thrashers.

-Strauss

 

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