GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) As the NHL offseason extended into July, Arizona Coyotes fans became concerned. Captain Shane Doan had not re-signed with the team.
Behind the scenes there was no need to worry. Once Doan decided he wanted to play a 21st season, it was just a matter of working out the details and finding time to get a contract done.
Doan signed a one-year contract with a base salary of $2.5 million on Tuesday, ensuring the NHL's longest-tenured captain will remain in the desert for at least one more season. The total deal will be around $5 million with a deferred signing bonus and deferred incentives.
''Obviously, I wanted to get it done as soon as possible, but I know there were things that needed to be put in place,'' Doan said. ''It wasn't anything I had anxiety about or anything like that. It's something we knew eventually would get done.''
The 39-year-old Doan is coming off one of his best seasons, leading Arizona with 28 goals and finishing with 19 assists in 72 games. He has spent his entire 20-year career with the franchise, starting when it was in Winnipeg in 1995, and is its all-time leader in goals (296), points (945) and games (1,466).
Doan had opportunities to be traded to or sign with Stanley Cup-caliber teams, particularly after becoming a free agent four years ago. Instead, he remained loyal to the only franchise he's played for, further endearing him to an Arizona fan base that already appreciated his blue-collar work ethic and contributions to the community.
''He's captain, our leader, someone who brings everyone to the next level,'' Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. ''We're excited to reach an agreement with him and get him on a team we feel has a chance to be real good by the end of the season.''
Doan had previously signed a four-year, $21.2 million contract that expired at the start of free agency this month and had been debating whether to continue playing.
Arizona's youth movement helped lure him back.
The Coyotes had a disappointing 2015-16 season and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year, but have a strong core of young players. Max Domi and Anthony Duclair had solid rookie seasons in 2015-16 and Arizona's system is considered one of the NHL's best.
''Those young guys, I can't say enough about how much they made me feel relevant,'' Doan said. ''With a young group, it's easy to be the old guy nagging, kind of pointing things out all the time, but our young guys were always respectful and eager to listen, want to listen. That makes it fun.''
Doan was drafted by the Coyotes with the seventh overall pick of the 1995 draft and was named captain in 2003.