When Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan announced his retirement earlier today, there was no shortage of praise from teammates and former teammates on social media. But one NHLer, Toronto Maple Leafs youngster Auston Matthews, went above and beyond to pay his respects to his childhood hero.
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How cool is that? Matthews, of course, grew up in the Phoenix area and was a lifelong Coyotes fan before being drafted by the Leafs 1st overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
When the two faced off against each other during a December game last season, Matthews had nothing but praise for the 40-year-old Doan. "He's been such an amazing not only hockey player for this team, but in the community," Matthews said. "Obviously you see in the intermission breaks the people he touches and affects. It just shows you how much more it is to him not only to be a hockey player, but just an amazing person in the community."
Doan, was quick to pay back some praise to the young Arizona native saying, “I think he's so much more than any Coyote will be because he's from here and that represents so much more for the grassroots people.”
No matter how you divide it up there’s no denying that both Doan and Matthews have had an incredible impact on the growth of hockey in the Arizona desert. Here’s to the passing of the torch from one generation to another!