Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/14/11 at 11:55 PM ET
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Saskatchewan-born, Alberta-bred, B.C.-trained, Doan is as Western Canadian as canola and cowboy boots. He can’t forget where he came from because to do so would defy his DNA. He remembers what it was like to be 19 and playing in the NHL and admits that Saturday, when Phoenix plays host to Winnipeg for the first time in their twist-tied existence, there will be a tug at his heartstrings. “A surreal moment,” he says, knowing that at 35 he is the last Coyote with a link to the original Jets. “It was the team that gave me the incredible opportunity to play my first NHL game. I don’t take that lightly.”
But neither should his attachment to the Coyotes be dismissed. As their long-standing captain, Doan has had to address family members, teammates, Jobing.com arena workers even parking attendants on the on-going saga that has been the team’s quest for a new owner. Single-handedly, Doan has kept the flag flying, hopeful the Coyotes will stay where they are, where he feels comfortably at home.
“You look at Atlanta [whose Thrashers became the new Jets] and you’re almost jealous. It’s over and done with. We’ve had to deal with it for two, three years,” Doan says. “Last year, the hardest part was the playoffs. We’d made it and we were playing Detroit and on the day of the game it was announced when we’re beat out we’re going to be moving. Instead of feeling that incredible excitement, it stole the joy out of what we’d accomplished.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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