Coyotes' Doan sues Canadian Member of Parliament

1/17/2006 - NHL Shane Doan Phoenix Coyotes + more

MONTREAL -- Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan sued a Member of Parliament on Tuesday, contending that Denis Coderre falsely accused him of making a slur against French speakers during an NHL game.

Doan also demanded in the lawsuit filed in Quebec superior court that Coderre, a former sports minister, make a public retraction.

Coderre had asked Hockey Canada in a letter Dec. 22 to expel Doan from Canada's Olympic hockey team unless he apologized for the alleged slur to referee Stephane Auger at the end of a Dec. 13 game between the Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens. Copies of the letter were released to the media.

Doan denied making the remark and an investigation by the NHL found no evidence he used an ethnic slur.

Doan is seeking reparations for damages to his reputation over "false and defamatory" remarks made by Coderre, both in his letter to Hockey Canada and to the media. The player asked for $172,000 in moral damages and $43,000 in punitive damages. The motion said Doan, who is earning $3 million this season, would donate any money he is awarded to charity.

Coderre, the federal MP for the Montreal riding of Bourassa, said during a news conference Tuesday that he would not apologize and vowed to fight the lawsuit "right up to the end."

He said he asked the NHL for a copy of the referees' report on the incident and was turned down. He said he would attempt to have the report and the referees' account of the incident made public in court if necessary.

But Colin Campbell, the NHL's executive vice president and league disciplinarian, said Coderre won't see it.

"Our game reports are not for public dissemination and particularly not for politicians who may be using this whole disjointed affair to seemingly garner votes," Campbell told The Canadian Press.

Doan said he "did not make any comment that could be construed as derogatory toward French-speaking people during the hockey game. Such remarks are completely incompatible with the values I espouse as both a hockey player and a proud Canadian."

Doan, from Halkirk, Alberta, was given a misconduct penalty by Auger for verbal abuse of the officials at the end of the game won by Montreal at Bell Centre. Both referees and both linesmen are French speakers.

Coderre repeated the alleged slur in his letter to Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, a copy of which was sent to Canadian Olympic Committee president Mike Chambers. Chambers concluded there was no evidence Doan made the remark and said he was told it may have been made by another player on the ice.

Doan made a request to Coderre on Dec. 23 that he retract his statements within 10 days.