It is an axiom that hockey players rarely have anything interesting to say. Especially once they’ve been around as long as Coyotes captain Shane Doan, they’ve mastered the ability to engage autopilot and just spout a beige stream of bromides until the reporters haranguing them for quotes have filled their notebook or their airtime.
That said, in this postgame interview following the trade of center Martin Hanzal to Minnesota, you can see the exact moment when Doan’s clichés desert him, and he resorts—grudgingly—to sharing his actual feelings.
The long sigh, the sentence fragments, the shake of his head, and finally some true, honest frustration.
I get Doan’s emotional reaction—Hanzal was his friend (and card-game partner), and the two have been teammates for a decade. And Doan, at 40 years old, probably won’t be around for any rebuild to come to fruition. He was similarly displeased when Arizona traded away Keith Yandle at the deadline two years ago.
But this is a good trade for Arizona! Hanzal, who is a free agent this summer, plus fourth-line winger Ryan White and a fourth-round pick, in exchange for a first rounder, a second rounder, a conditional pick (anywhere from the fourth to the second round, depending on how far Minnesota goes this year), and a minor leaguer. It would have been malpractice not to take this deal. It sucks, sure, for Hanzal’s friends left behind. But Doan’s been around for long enough—and has been on Coyotes teams out of contention by March too many times—not to have seen this coming.
Still—It’s a tough business: