While fans waited out to see where Shane Doan would sign before the lockout, be it Phoenix or Vancouver, one thing we didn’t know until now is he contemplated retiring from the game.
Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic shares the story of how Doan nearly hung it up to take care of his family after his 7 year-old daughter, Karys, had the scare of a lifetime.
In early July, Karys suffered a severe dog bite to her face at her grandparents’ ranch in Alberta that required bone and cartilage reconstruction and 150 stitches. She had to spend six days in the hospital after being operated on.
“This changed everything for me, and I wasn’t interested in thinking about making any decisions for the next little while,” Doan said.
After spending weeks at the family’s secluded camp in Kamloops to recover and get back to normal, he returned to Arizona to start figuring out his future. There potential Coyotes owner Greg Jamison convinced him he’d get the deal done to buy the team and that turned into a four-year, $21.2 million contract signed just before the lockout started.
Doan stayed in Phoenix because of his family, but it was the love his family that nearly made him walk away from it all.
One of the worries many fans have about a potential work stoppage is whether or not it will cost them getting to see their favorite older superstars one more time.
Guys like Teemu Selanne and Daniel Alfredsson have flirted with retirement recently, but it looks like a lockout won’t keep the Senators captain away. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun hears it from Alfie about where his head is at with an uncertain start to the year.
“I’m not saying I’m going to quit (playing) if there’s no hockey this year. You’ll have to quit some time,” Alfredsson says.
“You don’t always choose when that time comes. Preferably, you would like to, but I have no problem with the situation. I’m just a small piece of the puzzle. We, as the union, will do what’s right for us and what’s fair. If that means I lose a year, then so be it.”
Obviously a season-killing lockout is a worst-case scenario and one neither side wants to have happen. At the least, Alfredsson doesn’t seem to be in the mindset to ponder the end of his career, work stoppage or not.
We’ve gotten more than used to seeing Daniel Alfredsson sporting the captain’s “C” on the ice for the Ottawa Senators over the years. Might we have to start adjusting to seeing him in a suit behind the bench though? If Alfredsson gets his way, it’ll happen someday.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun hears from Alfredsson who says being a head coach in the future is something he’s hoping to do, just not any time soon.
“I don’t see myself coaching too soon,” said Alfredsson. “I think it takes even more time at the rink than it does as a player to prepare! (He chuckles) Right now, I don’t think I’m ready for that.”
Alfredsson says he’s always picking coaches brains about what they’re doing and why they made the adjustments they did and he says he also likes the thought of being able to challenge and motivate guys. Considering the respect Alfredsson commands in the room as it is, a move to coaching is a natural fit. As for that whole retirement thing he’s mulling over, he’s still yet to make a decision there.
After seeing his team drop a hard-fought Game 7 in New York, Daniel Alfredsson wore his heart on his sleeve talking about what may have been his last ride in the NHL. One thing’s for sure, he’s not ready to think about it now.
“I’ll take some time, obviously, see how I feel physically and mentally after time off. But this year has been unbelievable,” Alfredsson said.
While he may have been disappointed, Alfredsson could at least get a one-liner through in a somber Senators locker room.
“I had a lot of fun and it’s been a great group of guys to be a part of. They’ve kept me upbeat and happy when I’m a grumpy old man at times. They’ve made this year very enjoyable for me.”
Alfredsson’s season may have ended in disappointing fashion, but he had a renaissance of sorts scoring 27 goals and ending the year with 59 points. He might be 39, but he’s not playing like it.
Seeing him after the game though, you could tell this was a hard loss to take even though the Sens have lost Game 7s before during his tenure in Ottawa.
“I think it’s easier as you get older where you know you give everything you have,” Alfredsson explained.
“When it’s done, it’s done. The worst thing you can have is if you feel ‘I should’ve done this and that’ and didn’t give everything you had, then you feel pretty bad. But this group, we can definitely hold our heads high. We battled hard the whole year to even get to the playoffs and we battled these guys to the finish line.”
If you thought about the factors that could go into Nicklas Lidstrom’s decision on whether or not to retire from the NHL, would you guess that the future of teammate Tomas Holmstrom was one of them? Probably not, but that might just be the case.
Elliotte Friedman mentions in his weekly 30 Thoughts column that while there are many factors for Lidstrom to consider, the possibility of Holmstrom retiring might wind up being the one that makes up Lidstrom’s mind for him.
Ultimately, the No. 1 factor in Nicklas Lidstrom’s future is if he wants to put himself through everything it takes to get ready for the season. I mentioned on The Hotstove that he may leave if close friend Tomas Holmstrom retires — a theory that, apparently, was backed up by Chris Chelios on NHL Live.
Sound crazy? It isn’t. Holmstrom and Lidstrom are very close friends and given that they’ve both played together in Detroit for a long time, it probably makes Lidstrom’s life a lot easier having a friend and countryman in the locker room to go through the rigors with.
What a twist it would be to see one of the game’s greatest players call it a career because a close friend beat him to the punch to do so.