Canucks circle wagons around Doans

TODD SAELHOF -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

Alberta's Shane Doan and his family are scoring support from thousands of Canadians who back the hockey star in a two-year-old controversy.

As Hockey Canada officials faced off in Commons committee yesterday to uphold their decision to appoint Doan the captain of Team Canada at the 2007 IIHF World Hockey Championships, his sister Leighann was busy thanking fellow-patriots for standing behind him.

"We were obviously happy to see and hear Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson defend their decision to have him as a captain and keep him as the captain," said Leighann, a one-time star of the University of Calgary basketball Dinosaurs.

"It has been a frustrating few days for our family, but we just hope that because of Hockey Canada standing up and defending Shane's character that it will kind of settle things down."

Doan, a winger with the Phoenix Coyotes, was accused of uttering a cultural slur towards a French-speaking linesman during a 2005 NHL game, but has since been cleared of the incident.

But the Bloc Quebecois and Quebec Liberal MPs want him stripped of his captaincy.

With the politicians' attack on the Halkirk native, hundreds of e-mails and phone calls have poured in.

A petition has been set up on the website savedoan.ca, and among thousands signing their name to support Doan is colourful CBC broadcaster Don Cherry. As well, media from across Canada, including the Calgary Sun with its Thursday front-page headline 'Leave Captain Canada Alone,' have come to his defence.

"We're overwhelmed as a family by the support we've received for Shane," said Leighann, 28, from Three Hills.


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