On Monday, opposition leaders suggested in the House of Commons that Doan wasn’t fit to lead the team because of alleged derogatory comments about French-Canadians.
Doan denies making any such slurs and is backed by an NHL investigation that cleared him. He doesn’t understand why his name is even being discussed at the highest levels of Canadian government over an allegation that hasn’t been proven.
“Those are the leaders of our country and they’re the people . . . attacking me for their own personal gain,” Doan said after Canada’s practice on Tuesday. “I don’t understand (because) these are the people that are supposed to be our leaders.
“They’re supposed to be the people that we look to and the people that represent our country internationally and in our House of Commons.”
Doan won gold medals at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in 2003 and 2004 and was named captain before the start of this year’s tournament.
Canadian coach Andy Murray strongly defended the player he chose to lead his team.
“Shane Doan has answered the call whenever Canada’s asked,” said Murray. “He’s leaving four kids to come over here. He’s done enough that he probably had the right to maybe say no and he never has said no to Canada.
“That’s all I’ll say about it – it’s just the fact that I think he’s a real Canadian.”
The incident in question came at the end of a game between Doan’s Phoenix Coyotes and the Montreal Canadiens in December 2005. Linesman Michel Cormier says he heard Doan utter a slur against Francophones while skating by him.
Doan and Cormier later spoke on the phone and the matter seemed to be settled after an NHL investigation found nothing wrong.
But Liberal MP Denis Coderre wrote a letter to Hockey Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee a week later to protest Doan’s inclusion on the Olympic team in Turin.
Doan has since filed a lawsuit against Coderre for defamation. Coderre is counter-suing.
“I have nothing to hide,” said Doan. “I’m not trying to sneak around or try to do anything.
“I simply want an apology for saying that I said this. I have never said it, I never said anything remotely close.”
The issue was brought back to life on Parliament Hill. NDP Leader Jack Layton suggested Monday that Doan’s captaincy would “cast a shadow” on the Canadian team while Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion called on the Conservative Government to comment.
Eight time zones away, Doan’s teammates were surprised to hear that he was being talked about in the House of Commons.
“Anybody that knows Shane will tell you that it’s a very hard thing for any of us to believe that he said something like that,” said forward Mike Cammalleri. “He’s pretty much the perfect leader when you think of a guy you want for Team Canada.
“I’m astonished. It just seems like the shoe doesn’t fit.”