Having failed to receive the public apology he demanded last month, Coyotes captain Shane Doan filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a Canadian politician who claimed Doan made anti-French-Canadian comments following Phoenix’s Dec. 13 game in Montreal.
The motion was filed in Quebec superior court and seeks reparations for damages to Doan’s reputation over "false and defamatory" remarks made by member of Parliament Denis Coderre.
Doan is asking for $172,000 in moral damages and $43,000 in punitive damages and once again demanding a public apology from Coderre, a former sports minister. The motion said Doan, who will earn just over $3 million this season, would donate any money he is awarded to charity.
The lawsuit is in response to a Dec. 22 letter, which was also released to the media, in which Coderre asked Hockey Canada to expel Doan from the Olympic hockey team unless he apologized for reportedly uttering an ethnic slur to referee Stephane Auger at the end of the game in Montreal. Doan was given a gross misconduct penalty by Auger for verbal abuse of the officials (all four are French Canadian) at the end of the game.
Doan has repeatedly denied making any such remarks and an investigation by NHL cleared him of any wrongdoing.
A representative for Doan sent a letter to Coderre on Dec. 23 demanding he retract his statements within 10 days. When asked about the letter that day Doan said, "My family’s name and my character and my reputation is very important to me. My kids have the same name, and I want to fight for them."
When reached by phone Tuesday, Doan referred all questions regarding the lawsuit to his agent, J.P. Barry.
A message left for Barry was not immediately returned, but he did say in a release, "Mr. Doan has consistently publicly denied having made any racial comments toward francophones and has always maintained that he was wrongfully accused by Mr. Coderre (of) having made these remarks."
In an affidavit attached to the motion, 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."
One of Doan’s best friends on the Coyotes is Denis Gauthier, who is from Montreal.