According to Doan, who spoke with the Burns and Gambo Show on Arizona Sports 98.7, owner Andrew Barroway made the decision not to bring back the 40-year-old forward, who has spent his entire career with one franchise and was a pending unrestricted free agent.
Barroway recently became the sole owner of the franchise, completing the buyout of his minority partners.
“Yeah, it was the owner’s decision. When he got possession of the team … he chose that he wanted to go with the younger group and that me being around might’ve kind of delayed things,” said Doan in the interview.
“Sometimes you’ve got to rip the band-aid off and I guess that was kind of the approach they were looking at. The fact that they traded (Mike Smith) right after, you understand … they were making sure they were getting rid of the things that were from the past.”
As noted earlier today at PHT after the news broke, it was Barroway that released a statement, saying that the Coyotes would not offer Doan a contract.
The Coyotes traded Smith to the Calgary Flames on Saturday, getting pending UFA goalie Chad Johnson, prospect Brandon Hickey and a conditional third-round draft pick.
Doan has played his entire career for the same franchise, spending one year in Winnipeg before the Jets relocated to Phoenix and became the Coyotes. He’s played 1,540 games throughout his career, scoring 402 goals and 972 points, captaining the team since 2003.
The Coyotes haven’t made the playoffs since 2012 and have been in a full-on rebuild, getting younger and acquiring draft picks and prospects.
Doan admitted to feeling sadness and anger at the decision, and that he wasn’t expecting it. But he also expressed that he was grateful to play for so long with the same franchise, even if the Coyotes had — and are still dealing with — arena issues and haven’t made the playoffs in the past five seasons.
Doan will now turn his attention toward the future, as a free agent. After scoring 28 goals and 47 points in 2015-16, his numbers dropped this past season with only six goals and 27 points in 74 games.
His agent, Terry Bross, said today that it’s time for his client to get a shot at the Stanley Cup. But it will be interesting to see which competitive teams take a shot on a 40-year-old winger who admittedly had a down year — and for what price.
“I’m trying to sort through the emotions of it. I know … my personality and my initial response is, ‘You challenge me that way, then I’m going to want to prove you wrong.’ Initially, there’s no doubt in my mind that I want to prove to them I can be effective and help,” said Doan.
“As the two days have calmed down, it’s like, ‘Okay, I want to make a decision that’s right and not just one out of competitiveness and anger.’
“I want to get an … honest idea of where I’d be and what it would be like.”