Jets fans give Doan standing O

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

WINNIPEG - Shane Doan got booed every time he touched the puck on Thursday night, but the former Winnipeg Jet will always remember the standing ovation he got from the crowd.

The Coyotes captain was shown on the scoreboard video screen during a TV timeout in the first period, and most of those in attendance cheered. Doan couldn’t help but smile, and then the crowd got to its feet and roared some more for the 35-year-old.

“It was pretty special,” Doan said afterwards in the deserted Coyotes dressing room. “It’s not too often you get to experience something like that, and I’m very grateful and thankful for that. It meant a lot to me.”

Then the crowd went back to booing him every time he touched the puck. It was no doubt in response to his statement last spring that he didn’t want the Coyotes to move to Winnipeg because Arizona had become home for him and his family. Then again, every member of the Coyotes got booed on Thursday night in the organization’s first visit to Winnipeg since it left in 1996.

“You’d expect that. You’re an opposing team,” Doan said. “You’re playing against their team. I’m more than OK with that. That’s good. That’s fun. That’s what fans are supposed to do.”

No visiting team has been booed like Doan and the Coyotes were on Thursday night, however.

“That’s OK,” said Doan, who was Winnipeg’s first-round draft pick in 1995. “They were so generous and gracious with the standing O. I actually didn’t know what to say or to do. It was very nice.”

Doan spent his rookie NHL season in Winnipeg, scoring seven goals in 74 games. He moved with the franchise to Phoenix and has never left.

His first regular-season game in Winnipeg since 1996 didn’t go as planned for the Alberta native, as his turnover led to the game’s only goal. Bryan Little scored in the first period, and Ondrej Pavelec did the rest.

“That goal was a direct gift from me,” Doan said. “I turned the puck over, and they go in and score.”

Doan had plenty of praise for Pavelec, who made 33 saves.

“He was just good,” he said. “He was big, and he made the first save on everything. He didn’t leave anything too far out.

“If there were rebounds they were pretty tight, and their D-men did a good job of clogging up the middle.”

The Coyotes won’t be back in Winnipeg until next year, but Doan is hopeful everyone can move on.


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