Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan is known for a lot of things. His leadership, physical play and kindness to fans principal among them.
But every one in a while he breaks character and drops the mitts, trading punches with the opposition.
The likelihood of seeing Doan engaged in that type of activity is low. So low, that when Doan joined Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday, and the topic of No. 19’s fight last Thursday came up, John Gambadoro remarked that Doan “never fights.”
The 38-year-old then threw a verbal jab of his own back at Gambo.
“I’ve been in more fights in the last 20 years than you’ve been,” Doan joked.
Doan wasted little time getting his first fight of the 2014-15 season out of the way. He fought former Coyotes draft pick Blake Wheeler in Thursday’s opening night game against the Winnipeg Jets.
After Doan landed a big hit on Wheeler into the boards, the Jet shadowed the Coyotes forward before slashing him on his way up the ice.
That was all it took for punches to fly.
“That was one of those (situations) where you’re down 4-1 at home in your home opener and everything’s kind of going wrong — you want somebody to give you a reason to be able to do something,” Doan said. “Obviously him coming back after me — I was more than excited for him.”
Doan was able to land a punch or two before wrestling Wheeler to the ground. Score that one for Captain Coyote.
However, Doan did not quite escape the scrum without a little pain.
“The first two punches I (hit) right off his visor — right flush,” Doan said. “My hand is all cut up now.”
Doan will have more big hits and goals than fights this season, but if need be, he can still throw a few hay-makers.