The Canadian hockey captain again answered questions Wednesday about the December 2005 incident that has become a talking point on both sides of the globe.
Doan says he was trying to calm down goaltender Curtis Joseph, who was upset that a penalty hadn’t been called in a game against the Canadiens, when linesmen Michel Cormier though he heard the Phoenix Coyotes captain utter a slur against Francophones.
As an enraged Joseph hovered around centre ice, Doan says he skated over to him and yelled: “Four French referees in Montreal, Cuje, figure it out.”
All four officials were French-Canadian that night.
“I would have done the same thing if we were in Los Angeles and it was four officials from California,” explained Doan. “Or if we were in Calgary and it was four Westerners.”
It’s the same thing Doan told NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell while he investigated the incident some 17 months ago. Campbell, who spoke out in defence of Doan on Wednesday, cleared Doan at that time.
Canadian coach Andy Murray also defended Doan after Canada’s 5-4 win over Slovakia on Wednesday by saying that it was time for the parliamentarians to put this issue to rest.
“Wherever this guy’s coming from, he’s got to park it right now,” said Murray. “There’s a lot more issues in Canada that are more important and certainly globally as well.
“Let’s get real and get on with things.”
That’s not likely to happen before Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, chairman Rene Marcil and senior director Brad Pascall appear before the House of Commons’ Official Languages Committee on Thursday.
Doan will also be happy when it’s over.
“I’m embarrassed that there’s all this attention about it,” he said. “I never said anything so I don’t understand why it keeps getting a life of its own.”
Despite that attention, Doan intends to remain captain of the team.
He says he told Hockey Canada management that he would support any decision they made about the captaincy and was told that the ‘C’ would remain on his jersey.
“They’ve been nothing but supportive of me,” said Doan. “I obviously don’t want to cause a distraction but in our locker-room it’s been great. Every guy on our team has been incredible.”
His teammates were more than happy to lend support.
At 37, goaltender Dwayne Roloson is the veteran on the team. He spent time with Doan on Tuesday night talking about the incident and fallout its received.
Roloson believes it’s an important time for the team to stick together.
“We’re in a situation right now where we’re surrounding him,” he said. “We believe in him . . . We’re a long way away from our families but we’ve just got to make sure that we’re a family here and that’s what we’re doing.”
Several family members of the players are scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Thursday, including Doan’s wife Andrea and two of his four kids.
Situations like the one he’s been through can be tough on a family.
“It’s one of those things where you got young kids and people are throwing stuff that’s pretty vicious at you as a person,” said Roloson. “Your kids get the brunt of it when they go to school . . .
“I’ll be happy when he gets an apology, that’s for sure.”
The team improved to a perfect 3-0 at the IIHF World Hockey Championship with the win over Slovakia and is doing its best to focus on the task at hand.
“It’s been talked about a bit, but nothing at all when we get to the rink,” said forward Rick Nash. “It’s all business once we get here.
“We know we’ve got a job to bring back the gold to Canada and we’re not going to let those issues sidetrack us.”