Doan cherishes Jets memories

ADAM WAZNY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

It's hard to tell if Shane Doan was taken aback by the question or by all the people asking the questions.

The Phoenix Coyotes captain and last thread linking that franchise to the Winnipeg Jets laughed when he walked into the multitude of cameras and microphones waiting for him in the Manitoba Moose complex yesterday morning.

Is all this attention unusual?

"Yeah, there's not exactly this many people in Winn...uh, Phoenix all the time so this is a little different," he said, acknowledging his Freudian slip on what city he's playing for. "It's nice to come back here, to get to come back in the city where you started to play. It's pretty special."

As one of the few remaining Jets left playing in the NHL, Doan takes his place in this town's hockey history seriously. He started his career in Winnipeg in the 1995-96 season as a 19-year-old rookie -- which means he could be the last Jet standing in a couple of years.

"It's something, as a player, that is a huge honour," he said. "It seems funny talking to the young guys that it was that long ago, but it's pretty special. It's more a battle of attrition.

"I grew up in Western Canada (Halkirk, Alta.) and to have my chance to play for a Western Canadian team was so special to me and my family. I grew up watching the Oilers, Flames, Jets and Canucks, so to get to play in that was pretty special."

Given his ties to this city, Doan was asked about his thoughts on the NHL possibly returning to Winnipeg one day.

"I have fond memories, with the fact that I played my first game here and that I scored my first goal," he said. "I think hockey belongs in Canada. Phoenix has been incredible, I've loved it down there and the American cities have been great, but it's one of those things that as a Western Canadian kid you want as many teams as close to home as possible."


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