Information, observations and anecdotes about the Coyotes
as told by Dave Vest, the team's V.P. of News Content
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- A reporter greeted Shane Doan
in the lobby of the team’s hotel here in Winnipeg immediately upon our arrival Tuesday night. Twelve years after this franchise left this Manitoba city for Phoenix, Doan is the only player still on its roster.
And Doan once again will play on Winnipeg ice Wednesday night when the Coyotes “host” the Calgary Flames in an exhibition game (see the entire Coyotes roster for the game below).
I spoke to Doan about coming back to Winnipeg for these annual exhibition games and why they are special to him.
“It's special because it’s where I started my career,” Doan said. “The Jets gave me the chance to play in the NHL and I worked my whole life for that opportunity. And it’s in western Canada and I'm from western Canada.”
Doan said he’d never forget the first game he played in Winnipeg or the last one, which the Jets lost to the Detroit Red Wings. No one inside the old Winnipeg Arena -- now demolished -- seemed to care, however, as saying farewell to their beloved desert-bound franchise trumped the outcome of the game.
“Nobody left the building after the game and we all did a final lap and waved goodbye to the fans. It was pretty special,” recalled Doan, who I'm confidently predicting will receive the loudest ovation from the crowd at the MTS Centre on Wednesday.
By the way, Doan is one of only a handful of players who once played for the Jets and who is still playing in the NHL.
Can you name the others?
Spoiler alert: Doan can and did, quickly I might add, as we stood in the lobby waiting to get our room keys on Tuesday night. They are Teppo Numminen, Keith Tkachuk, Nikolai Khabibulin, Teemu Selanne, Kris Draper and Chad Kilger.
Here’s the roster for tonight’s game vs. Calgary at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg:
Forwards: Mikkel Boedker
, Daniel Carcillo, Doan, Jeff Hoggan, Chad Kolarik, Enver Lisin, Brian McGrattan, Garth Murray, Kevin Porter, Kyle Turris and Mike Zigomanis.
Defensemen: Mathieu Brodeur
, Matt Jones, Ryan Lannon, Dylan Reese, Kurt Sauer, Keith Yandle
Goalies: Al Montoya, Josh Tordjman.
I’m told one of the other players who made the trip from the Valley for the two exhibition games in Canada will be added to Wednesday’s roster after Wednesday’s morning skates. It will not be Olli Jokinen, who did not make the trip to Winnipeg/Calgary. He is scheduled to play his first exhibition game for the Coyotes on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena. Starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov also did not make the trip.
Thanks for reading.