Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan said he used to be bitter rivals with Mike Ribeiro, who joined the team in July.
“In honesty, I wanted to kill (Ribeiro),” Doan said Wednesday on Arizona Sports 620’s Burn & Gambo show. “I tried really hard to get him probably for about five or six years in a row when he was in Dallas. (He and I) did not like each other.”
But, Doan said if he doesn’t like a particular opponent, that player is probably doing something right.
“If I don’t like you, then you’re doing your job. Because if I like you and I’m playing against you, you’re probably not making my life too difficult,” the 17-year veteran said.
In light of that, Doan said he was excited to the Coyotes sign Ribeiro to a four-year contract.
“You knew that if you got to play on the same team as him, you’d love him,” Doan said. “And in the last year that he was in Dallas before he got traded (the 2011-12 season), we were lining up for a faceoff draw and I knew his contract was coming up, and I was like, ‘You know what, I can’t stand you out here, but I’d give anything for you to be on my team.'”
He said they both laughed over the exchange.
Besides Ribeiro’s potential to put the puck in the net, Doan had high praise for other aspect’s of Ribeiro’s game.
“Not only does he make plays, but he makes everyone around him feel like they can make plays,” the Coyotes captain said.
“And I think that’s so much more valuable in a sport like hockey. And really that’s what made (former Phoenix Suns guard) Steve Nash so good — was his ability to get someone else involved and to have them play with confidence. Because when that happens, more people are playing better.”
Doan said he and Ribeiro didn’t have much new ground to forge together on the Coytoes due to their years of going head-to-head.
“We’ve played against each other enough that we have a pretty good understanding of how each other plays and what we want.”