Larry Fitzgerald reacts to Shane Doan's departure from the Coyotes

Posted at 3:28 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 18:28:14-04

Entering his 14th season with the Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald is the Valley's longest-tenured active professional athlete.

He's held that title for over a month now -- ever since Shane Doan, who had spent his entire 21-year career with the Arizona Coyotes, was told by the team that he won't be returning for the 2017-18 season, a decision made by team owner Andrew Barroway. 

Doan was surprised and disappointed by the news, and Barroway later admitted he should have given Doan the news in person rather than having general manager John Chayka deliver the news for him. Barroway, however, said the decision not to re-sign Doan was the right move for the team.

Last week, ABC15 sports director Craig Fouhy got Fitzgerald's thoughts on the sudden end of Doan's tenure in the Valley.

"It's the nature of the beast. That's our business," Fitzgerald said. "Most guys usually get retired; they're not allowed to retire (on their own terms). That's just something that happens."

The Coyotes held a Larry Fitzgerald night last season that included a bobblehead giveaway for fans. Fitzgerald dropped the ceremonial puck before the game.

Fitz is a Coyotes fan and considers Doan a friend -- and he holds the 40-year-old in the same regard that all Valley fans do.

"Shane Doan played 20 seasons for one organization. That's unheard of," he said. "He's a pillar in this community. He will forever be remembered as a great athlete but a wonderful humanitarian and man, and at the end of the day, that's what it's really all about."