Coyotes captain defends Gretzky

Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan came to the defence of team owner Wayne Gretzky on Wednesday....

Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan came to the defence of team owner Wayne Gretzky on Wednesday. (REUTERS/Rick Scuteri)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:19 PM ET

Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan believes Wayne Gretzky should be cheered instead of jeered for the way he handled himself during the franchise’s bankruptcy mess this past summer.

Ripped for not being on hand when the team opened training camp while the court proceedings were taking place in early September, Gretzky, the coach and part owner of the Coyotes at the time, resigned several weeks later, claiming neither potential ownership group wanted to retain him as bench boss.

“He probably took all that heat to protect us,” Doan said, referring to the Coyote players.

“When he made his decision and the way he handled himself, well, he’s Wayne Gretzky. People were saying all these things about him. You felt for him.

“He took a lot of heat for stepping back but look at the cloudy convoluted legal situation that was going on.”

Doan said it was a difficult offseason with so much uncertainty swirling around the team.

“At least we are playing right now, which allows us to keep our focus on the task at hand,” Doan said. “It was quite a bit harder in the summer. Hearing so much beratement of the organization and the city was hard.”


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