The Runner Sports

Shane Doan Arizona Coyotes Next Assistant Coach?

Don’t Laugh: Shane Doan Would Be A Great Coach

When the Arizona Coyotes announced they had relieved Newell Brown of his Assistant Coach position, an intriguing scenario crossed this writer’s thought pattern. Is it possible that Captain Shane Doan may have decided to hang up his skates for a run at coaching? Brown’s failure to get the offense going was apparent. He was with the team since 2013 and had just signed a multi-year extension. His early success of directing the Coyotes’ power play to a top-ten position was enough to keep him on the coaching staff. Lately, that has not been the case as the team has failed miserably by falling into the 27th position. That won’t get you any invites to the post-season, so something needed to be done.

So, who do the Arizona Coyotes have in mind to replace Brown? Maybe the timing is coincidental, but why haven’t we heard about Shane Doan’s future plans about retiring, or continuing to play? Doan has been playing in the NHL for 21 years, and this past season may have told him that it’s time to think of what to do after retirement. His expertise in helping young players like Christian Dvorak this past season displays his ability to coach. Whether he is ready to step into that role is yet to be determined.

Shane Doan Loves The Valley Of The Sun

Doan has been here since the team relocated from Winnipeg in 1996. He knows the area. His family loves living here, especially his wife who like Shane enjoy their horse ranch. His kids have grown up here. Where else would he care to be? It does make perfect sense that when he does retire, he’d be given some role in the Coyote organization. He just doesn’t fit the scout role. Can he add to the team’s offensive prowess and improve their abilities to put the puck in the net? Perhaps, but the fact that he has served the Valley of the Sun so well makes him a natural choice if both parties agree. His contributions on and off the ice are over the top, and that he would fit into that part of the role is a no-brainer.

Does An Ex-Player Make A Good Coach?

The jury is still out on whether a player who has played in the NHL with reasonable success, can move to a coaching role and succeed. Take for instance Wayne Gretzky, the greatest player to play the game. His coaching career was short-lived and without much positive feedback. It is more likely that the team will find an experienced assistant coach to fill the opening. After all, hiring Gretzky was more of a publicity stunt to get fans in the building (and it worked for a while) than a serious attempt to improve the team’s record. Head Coach/Executive V.P. of Hockey Operations Dave Tippett will definitely be involved in the search for Brown’s successor. He realizes that while Doan would be a fan favorite behind the bench, he must also be someone who can do the job and get the team’s offense ignited.

Coincidence Or Reality

It is doubtful that the Coyotes fired Brown with the thought process of hiring Shane Doan in his place, but stranger things have happened. You’ve got to admit that Doan stepping right into a NHL assistant coaching job is a stretch, but it is also obvious that he would be a natural at it. If you watch how he teaches the younger guys what to do in certain situations, it’s apparent that he could be an excellent coach… someday.

But, for now we must all wait to see what Shane Doan’s next saga is in his hockey career. Retired Shane Doan, or Player Shane Doan… or Coach Shane Doan.