GLENDALE, Ariz. — Brad Treliving sent Shane Doan all his best wishes on Friday afternoon — all except one.
“I really want to see him break the record,” the Calgary Flames GM said. “I just hope he waits one more game.”
Treliving should have known better. In this storybook of a season, Doan wasn’t about to let a Hollywood ending slip through his hands. After breaking Dale Hawerchuk’s franchise goal-scoring record earlier this season against Winnipeg, the team with which Hawerchuk set the mark, the big kid from Alberta saw another opportunity with Calgary in town and the franchise points record within striking distance, so he seized it.
Doan had a pair of goals and an after-the-fact assist in a 4-1 win over the Flames on Friday night at Gila River Arena. The assist on Oliver-Ekman Larsson’s second-period goal gave Doan 930 points, eclipsing Hawerchuk’s mark. Later in the third period, he added No. 931 on a power-play goal that also set the franchise mark for power-play goals at 123.
“It’s been pretty special,” Doan said. “We’re in February and no one predicted that we’d be in the middle of (the playoff race). We’re not where we want to be right now but we’re not too far away from it. We just have to find ways to win games and that makes it fun. That’s part of relishing it. It means so much more because of that.”
It would be impossible to list all the ways Doan has carried this franchise over the years. He’s been with the team since it arrived from Winnipeg in 1996, and he’s been the captain for 13 seasons; the longest tenure of any captain in the NHL. In that time he has seen the team drift rudderless for years without an owner. He has endured countless rumors of relocation, financial woes, nine seasons without a playoff berth, no playoff series wins until 2012 and a rock-bottom 2014-15 campaign.
Inexplicably, he has remained committed to the franchise and the community, signing a four-year contract worth $21.2 million on Sept. 14, 2012 despite no certainty that the team’s ownership saga would ever be resolved.
“He’s been at the front of the bus for that team and dragging it along for as long as I can remember,” said Treliving, who was the Coyotes assistant GM for seven seasons. “Until you’re around him every day, you simply can’t understand just how much impact he has.
“The hockey player is one thing, but whether he’s talking to the president of a company, a janitor or a 5-year-old kid, he’s fully engaged, he’s genuine and everything you say is the most important thing going on right now.”
As the record drew closer and closer over the past few weeks, Doan remained low-key and self-deprecating about the achievement.
“You’d think that after 20 years I’d already be there,” he said.
Even his coach got in on that act when asked about the milestone.
“I told him it was good it was only 103 years it took him to do it,” Dave Tippett said Friday night.
One liners aside, nobody understands more than Tippett what a treasure he has in Doan — a guy who has seemingly rekindled his career at the ripe age of 39.
“What he’s done for this organization is phenomenal,” Tippett said. “The commitment that he has to the organization, to the city, to his teammates; it’s just amazing to watch every day.”
Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter