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Tippett’s ‘gut feeling’ is that Doan won’t retire

Phoenix Coyotes v Edmonton Oilers

EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 3: Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates against the Edmonton Oilers during an NHL game at Rexall Place on December 3, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Coyotes defeated the Oilers 6-2.(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Derek Leung

Shane Doan’s contract expires in July, and he turns 40 in October.

But Shane Doan also scored 28 goals this year, the third-highest total of his career.

The former is why he’s mulling retirement, and wants to discuss his playing future with his family.

But the latter is why some think he’ll be back.

To that last point, there’s also this -- from the Arizona Republic:

With a little more than two minutes remaining in the Coyotes’ final game last Saturday in San Jose, Doan joined the action with the team pursuing a tying goal on the power play.

After 1:30, Doan skated off with 44 seconds to go and watched a 1-0 loss finalized from the bench.

“If that was his last game, he never would have come off the ice,” Tippett said. “So that’s just my gut feeling. He may prove me wrong.”

That anecdote aside, Tippett had some more concrete logic as to why Doan might come back.

The head coach raved about the 39-year-old’s contributions -- "[Doan] had a very good year,” Tippett said -- and it’s hard to ignore the fact that, by leading the Coyotes in goals this year, he became the fourth player in NHL history to do so at age 39 or older.

This could be why Tippett isn’t the only high-ranking person within the organization that wants to see Doan come back.

“Our view is if Shane wants to come back, we’re thrilled,” Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc said. “There’s no bigger figurehead in regard to the Arizona Coyotes than Shane Doan.”

The big question, it would seem, is if Arizona’s new GM will be in lockstep. Don Maloney, recently dismissed from his post after nine years on the job, was always one of Doan’s biggest backers.

This past season, Maloney said Doan would “stay with us as long as he wants to stay with us.”

Will the new GM feel the same way?