2021 has not been the hard reset so many of us craved.
But the Arizona Coyotes took a big step today towards making sure that they have a fighting chance in 2021.
The franchise officially welcomed Shane Doan back into the family, creating a new position called Chief Hockey Development Officer. Thats a long title, what it really means is they hired Shane Doan to be Shane Doan.
You know the Doaner story by now: beloved franchise player who retired only to eventually be awkwardly broken up with by the franchise under then GM John Chayka. Doan went on to work for the NHL and was briefly mentioned as a GM candidate for the Coyotes franchise when they parted ways with Chayka. While Doan ultimately did not get the GM job, he still found his way back into the welcoming arms of the Coyotes front office.
This is a very good reflection on current GM Bill Armstrong. Instead of being threatened by the presence of the most popular player in franchise history who may or may not have higher front office aspirations, Armstrong welcomed Doan back with open arms. Cut from the same cloth, it's not hard to imagine Armstrong and Doan developing a keen working relationship.
Last season, the Coyotes had a tumultuous season punctuated by GM drama, a change at the team president position and a continuation of a new owner making his mark. While the team made the playoffs, it felt like three or four other headlines defined 2020.
The Coyotes hope Shane Doan's hiring doesn't define their 2021 season but it's not a bad way to start.