SUNRISE, Fla. — Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan is hoping for a little family reunion Tuesday night, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll get his wish.
Doan’s cousin is Florida Panthers defenseman Keaton Ellerby, but Ellerby has been a healthy scratch for nine of the last 11 games. The only two times Ellerby played during that span came when 2010 first-round pick Erik Gudbranson was sidelined with a charley horse.
Doan’s mother, Bernice, is the sister of Ellerby’s father, Calvin. Doan said the two families are close — Calvin Ellerby was the pastor who married Shane Doan and his wife Andrea.
The 10th pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Ellerby is a smooth skater with good potential but he has found himself as the seventh defenseman on the Panthers this year.
The Coyotes’ flight from Phoenix landed too late Monday night for Doan and Ellerby to get together, although they did speak by phone.
“I’m a huge fan of his,” Doan said. “I think he’s a great player and a really good kid. I wish him all the best. He’s an unbelievable skater and he’ll play in the league for a long time when he really gets his opportunity.
“Hopefully, I get the chance to play against him tonight and get the chance to run into him a couple of times.”