Doan began his career in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Kamloops Blazers in 1992, and spent three seasons with the team. He won the Memorial Cup with the Blazers in 1994 and 1995. He had his most successful season with the team during the 1994–95 season, when he recorded 94 points, helping the team win the Memorial Cup for a second straight year, and was also awarded the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the tournament's MVP.
Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes
Doan was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, seventh overall, in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He was the Jets' final first-round pick to play in the NHL prior to the franchise moving to Phoenix. He immediately made the transition from major junior to the NHL in 1995–96 and tallied 17 points in his rookie season with the Jets. He scored his first NHL goal against Ed Belfour of the Chicago Blackhawks, and later scored the overtime goal to win the game 6–5. Perhaps Doan's most memorable moment as a Jet was his seventh and final goal as a Jet, which came on April 12, 1996, during the team's last regular season home game, where he scored the game-winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings in the second period to make the score 4–2 for Winnipeg. The game would finish 5–3, and the win clinched a playoff spot for the Jets. In the playoffs, the Jets were matched up against the first seeded Detroit Red Wings and lost in six games.
After the Jets relocated to Phoenix and became the Coyotes the following season, Doan's points total did not improve greatly until the 1999–2000 season, when he scored 26 goals (the first of nine consecutive 20-goal seasons for Doan). After the departure of team captain Teppo Numminen, Doan assumed the captaincy in 2003–04 and scored which were then career-highs in all statistical categories with 27 goals, 41 assists and 68 points. During the season, Doan was selected to play in his first NHL All-Star Game in 2004. He then hit the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career the following season to go with 36 assists and 66 points.
Late in the 2006–07 season, Doan agreed to a five-year, $22.75 million contract extension with the Coyotes on February 14, 2007. He responded the following season with his best season to date when he led the Coyotes in scoring in 2007–08 with 28 goals and a career-high 50 assists for 78 points. In 2008–09, Doan was selected to the 2009 NHL All-Star Game and won the inaugural elimination shootout segment of the skills competition, outlasting Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins in the seventh round. He completed that season with his second-straight 70-point season and a career-high 31 goals.
On October 18, 2010, Doan was suspended for three games for a hit on Dan Sexton of the Anaheim Ducks the night previous. The NHL's disciplinarian, Colin Campbell, ruled that the hit was "a late hit from the blind side to the head of an unsuspecting opponent," violating the NHL's ban on blindside hits to the head. It was the first suspension of Doan's career.
Doan had a successful and memorable 2011–12 campaign for the Coyotes, leading his team to their most successful regular season to date, as the Coyotes finished third in the Western Conference and won their first division title. Also in that season he scored 50 points (22 goals and 28 assists) and his first NHL hat-trick, on January 7, 2012, at 19:59 of the third period in the 1,161st game of his NHL career. Doan would also lead the Coyotes to their most successful post-season performance, contributing nine points to lead the Coyotes to their first and second playoff series victories over the Chicago Blackhawks in six games and the Nashville Predators in five, respectively, as well as the team's first ever conference final appearance, where they would lose in five games to the eventual Stanley Cup champions Los Angeles Kings.
On September 14, 2012, Doan agreed to a four-year, $21.2 million contract extension with the Coyotes. As of the start of the 2014–15 season, Doan was the all-time leader in games played with the Jets/Coyotes franchise. And by scoring two goals and an assist in the February 12, 2016 game versus the Calgary Flames, he moved into first place all-time in points for the Jets/Coyotes franchise with 931.
On December 29, 2015, Doan recorded his second career hat trick in a 7–5 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. With this accomplishment, Doan became the 15th player ever to record two hat tricks after turning 35. He also tied Dale Hawerchuk's franchise record for all-time goals scored. On December 31, 2015 Doan scored twice against the Winnipeg Jets to become the all-time leading goal scorer for the Winnipeg/Phoenix/Arizona franchise with 381 goals.
On July 12, 2016, Doan agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with the Coyotes. As of the start of the 2016–17 season, Doan is the longest-serving captain in the NHL, having been named Coyotes captain prior to the 2003–04 season, is 10th in points among active NHL players, and is two points away from surpassing Dale Hawerchuk in all-time Jets/Coyotes points. Going into the season, he is 96th in all-time NHL points. On June 19, 2017, it was announced that the Coyotes were parting ways with Shane Doan, leaving him unprotected in 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and opting not to re-sign him for the 2017–18 season. The Coyotes left a standing offer to Doan to remain with the team in a non-playing role.
Doan made his international debut for Team Canada at the 1999 World Championships in Norway and finished fourth with the team. He then won his first gold medal four years later at the 2003 World Championships in Finland. Prior to the 2004–05 NHL lock-out, Doan competed in the 2004 World Cup and scored the game-winning goal in the finals against Finland to win the championship. Doan had also been named to Canada's 2004 World Championship team several months earlier, but could not attend due to injury.
In 2005, Doan was named an alternate captain for Canada and helped lead the team to a silver medal at the World Championships in Austria. Two years later, he was promoted to team captain at the 2007 World Championships in Moscow. During the tournament, he scored the game-winning goal in a 4–2 preliminary round victory over Norway, then scored a hat-trick in a span of 6:25 in a 6–3 qualification round victory over Belarus. Canada went undefeated en route to a 4–2 gold medal game victory over Finland in the final. He remained captain for the 2008 World Championships and won his second silver, losing to Russia in the gold medal game.
When Doan was selected for the 2006 Olympics, Canadian Liberal Member of Parliament Denis Coderre wrote a letter to Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson asking him to remove Doan from the team unless Doan apologized for an alleged racial slur he used on December 13, 2005, against a Francophone referee during a game against the Montreal Canadiens. In January 2006, Doan filed a lawsuit against Coderre for defamation, seeking $250,000 in damages and promising to contribute any damage awards to charity. Coderre filed a counter-suit in April 2007, seeking $45,000 in damages.
When Doan was selected as captain on the 2007 Canadian national men's hockey team, a Canadian Official Languages parliamentary committee demanded Hockey Canada appear before the committee to explain their decision to name Doan as captain in light of the aforementioned alleged comment. Doan's selection was maintained, citing that an NHL investigation had cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Prior to Doan's trial, set to take place in September 2010, he and Coderre agreed to an out of court settlement, stating that the Superior Court of Montreal could put its resources to better use if the matter was settled. Doan, however, admitted in the settlement that a player on the ice did utter the racial comments, contradicting his previous statements. The settlement also stated that Coderre had been justified in denouncing the events.