When a Toronto radio host attacked the Coyotes’ Shane Doan and his decision to return to Arizona, it was assumed the easygoing captain wouldn’t come away with his feelings hurt.
“They’ve got a guy who loves sucking. He looks forward to it — every season,” Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Dean Blundell said a week ago. “He has no clue. He has no desire to win. I have never in my life seen anything like it.”
Doan had a little fun reacting to the comments when he joined former Coyotes teammate Jeremy Roenick on a podcast this week.
The captain took a subtle jab at Blundell in an interview with Roenick that covered the Coyotes’ youth movement, the captain’s rise with the franchise and quite a bit of reminiscing about the past.
“I understand he knows what losing is because he’s been doing it in Toronto for a while now, so you understand how that goes,” the captain joked before confronting his decision head-on. “You tell me who’s going to win next year. Like, you’re going to pick a team (to sign with) and finish second? That’s where you talk to guys and everyone has an idea of who’s going to give them the best chance (to win a Stanley Cup). But if you don’t win it’s not worth it.
“It’s not worth it to move. For me, the collateral and everything I’ve built up here … it doesn’t change my competitiveness one bit,” Doan added. “I don’t really get my identity wrapped up in (winning Stanley Cups) too much because it goes by, I think, your day-to-day and the way you approach the game. The overall: Hey, you’re going to be a winner or loser in the way you approach life.”
Joining Roenick and co-host Billy Jaffe on The RoenickLife Podcast, Doan was presented with a safe platform to respond to the critical critique of his decision, but he also reminisced about his career on Roenick’s podcast.
On his father-in-law visiting the Coyotes’ locker room to thank Roenick for helping him golf at a few nice Phoenix courses: “I bring my father-in-law in and when we walk around the dressing room, everyone’s naked. That’s just the way it is. We’re in the dressing room, J.R. walks over naked, I’m like, ‘Hey J.R., here’s my father-in-law.’ When you walked away, J.R., he’s like, ‘I don’t even know where to look, I don’t even know what I said.’ Looking up at the ceiling, awkward as ever.”
On former Jets defenseman Dave Manson telling the future Coyotes captain to respect his coach: “He grabbed me one time by my throat, not by my throat but by the cuff of my jersey, and pinned me up against the wall because I was kind of being disrespectful to (head coach) Terry Simpson. I was in trouble for something in practice. I didn’t do a drill right or something. I hadn’t messed it up, someone else messed it up and I was getting yelled at. I kind of looked up in the air and kind of rolled my eyes to skate away the other direction like, ‘Are you kidding me? It wasn’t even my fault,’ is what was going through my head.”
Doan recalled how Roenick’s injury toward the end of 1999 led to Doan’s breakout year the next regular season when he finished with 51 points: “It has a lot to do with J.R. and he got elbowed by Derian Hatcher going into the playoffs the year before. And not only elbowed but broke his thumb … the prelude to that is J.R. gets elbowed, breaks his jaw, breaks his thumb and then comes back on the bench, you can see the gap in his teeth where his jaw is split open. He’s spitting blood out. Goes out and does another shift and comes off and complains about his thumb and goes, ‘I think, I think I can’t hold my stick right.’ Because he couldn’t play, we were down guys going into the playoffs. We played St. Louis … I played a little bit of center and I scored two game-winning goals in the playoffs that were the literally the worst two goals you’ll see in a hockey game. But it gave me confidence.”