The post-series handshake line is a time-honored tradition in hockey, and rightfully so. It demonstrates that while emotions run hot and viciousness occasionally occurs, you respect that your opponent went through the same struggles that you did, and survived to talk about it. Hockey’s a battle – we respect those who don’t quit.

That’s not to say that when the game is over you like every guy on the other team. Hockey, like life in general, has a fairly high asshole-to-nice person ratio. Especially when you’re after the same thing.

But for that brief moment, you’re supposed to bite your tongue, buck up, and say “good series.” It’s not that hard.

When Shane Doan (and Martin Hanzal, but nobody seems to care about that) didn’t offer up niceties and a hug to Dustin Brown after the series, we were all caught a little off-guard. This is one of the league’s classiest players, or so we thought. The problem is, he’s also one of the NHL’s most passionate. So what happened there? There shouldn’t ever be dickishness in the handshake line.

Apparently…Shane Doan agrees?

The Arizona Republic caught up with him, and here’s how it was explained:

Shane Doan feels sheepish, as he should.

But he wants to make something clear:

“I didn’t swear at him. I didn’t say anything rude or disrespectful,” Doan  said of his postgame dust-up with Kings’ captain Dustin Brown. “I just wasn’t as cordial as I should’ve been.”

No kidding.

He added:

“Brownie wanted to explain himself, and at the moment, I wasn’t ready to hear  it,” Doan said. “I said, ‘Not right now. Are you kidding me? Not right now.’  That was my expression. That’s all I’m saying.

“But at the same time, everyone who has ever played in a playoff game has done the handshake line. Am I arrogant enough to think I’m the only player who felt bad? No. And in that situation, I have to be in better control of my emotions.”

For sure.

But the question is, do you believe him? Do you think it was him being the bigger man, and not him just chirping at a guy he was mad at?

The last paragraph offered some good self-reflection, but it’s always tough to know what’s just a good recovery and what genuinely came off worse than it seemed. While Ryan Lambert doesn’t believe him…

…I kinda do.

Despite the fact that they’ve fought in the past, despite the fact that they battled all series, despite the borderline hit on Roszival just before Penner’s OT winner, I think that these are two captains, and Brown genuinely wanted to explain himself. You can hate an opponent and still crave their respect.

If he did want to do that, when else would he get a chance? And Doan was running a whole lot hot, so…the whole thing just makes sense to me. We debated what went down there on the podcast, but we never thought of this possibility.

The handshake line is a time to be civil, and not discuss the times when things weren’t. I think Doan knows that, wasn’t ready to get into, and ended the chat quickly. I believe him.

Comments (12)

  1. I sometimes wonder if Doan gets the benefit of the doubt a bit too much. Isn’t there just a certain point where we say, “Oh, hey, you’re really not as cool as we always thought you were! You’re just cool until something happens you don’t like, then you’re just like everyone else.”

    I think Doan has probably lost the benefit of the doubt over the past couple of seasons, and this is just another incident showing that maybe we shouldn’t have him on a pedestal. He’s a normal schlub, just like everyone else. And normal schlubs tell a guy they are mad at to **** off.

  2. We’ll probably never get the truth about what was said, but i’m fine with the apology. The guy should have handled the hand shake differently and he knows it.

    With that said, fuck Mike Smith.

  3. Whether or not the conversation happened the way Doan explains it doesn’t really matter. What mattes is that he admits his attitude towards Brown in the handshake line could have been better. Although, do we trully blame him for reacting this way? Doan is a trully compeitive and driven player. He is loyal to his club to almost a fault and at the time believed the hit was knee on knee. The way the game ended didn’t give him time to calm down and I can gaurantee he was still firing on all ‘game time’ cylinders.

    But, in the end, he does show class by admitting he could have been better and offers the “player apology” that we see often.

  4. If you watch the video, Doan is the one who starts the chirping. Granted, you can’t see Dustin Brown’s mouth from the camera angle in the broadcast, but Doan’s already chirping as Brown’s letting go of Whitney’s hand. So I don’t buy it. Maybe Brown starts trying to explain after Doan starts in on him, but Doan’s the instigator here, and he should own it. If you’re gonna apologize for being out of control, don’t lie while doing it to make yourself look better.

  5. Who’s Ryan Lambert and why should we care what he thinks?

    I got no problem with Doan giving Brown the business in the handshake line. All is not forgiven just because the whistle sounds. Brown is still accountable for his actions, handshake line or not IMO.

  6. Brown is scum. CASE CLOSED.

  7. Oh, yeah. Brownie’s doing a heck of a job! If you pull a bush-league play, you deserve some crap, captain or no. The after-the-whistle check on Roscival was beneath Brown’s dignity as a highly-skilled hockey player and leader of his team. But it’s how he chooses to play the game, and Doan held him (slightly) accountable for it.

    Brown has a LONG way to go to measure up to the leader Doan has been over his long career. So Brownie and Brown-nosers, man up and accept the little criticism you had to take in the line. The Coyotes’ post-loss actions weren’t all defensible, but they knew that the NHL’s double standard meant that the only consequences for Brown would be anything they could dish out then and there. The NHL and Brendan Shanahan proved them correct the very next day with their “no discipline for the big stars” decision.

    On to the finals. And for the gutty, outdollared and outmanned Coyotes, on to next year.

    And finally, who the heck is ryan lamebert?

    • Your kidding me!! Bush-League??? How about Roscival gets his head up and quit staring at the puck, thats High school right there, and did you ever see Brown’s feet move or leave the ice before the hit? Did you see him extend his leg out? Nope never once he never changed his position, he knew he was going to hit him and when he did he hit him with the entire left side of his body from head to skate. If Roscival has his head up this hit never takes place but because he got caught staring at the puck he got hammered. The hit was clean and legal so quit bitching about it, and for the record that hit did not lose the series for the Coyotes, i would say starting out 0-3 in the first three games was the beginning of the end for them……

  8. Doan doesn’t even like to curse, so while I’m sure his words were less than cordial, I doubt that it was as horrible as some people like to make it out to be.

    If the hit on Rozy had happened earlier in the game, I am 100% certain that emotions would have calmed down a bit by the time the handshake line took place. But with it happening less than a minute before the end of the game, there wasn’t any time to calm down at all. The entire team is angry about a hit on their teammate, a hit that caused the guy to leave the ice assisted. No call is made on that play, so everyone is angry about that. And then POW, the game ends.

    I have a feeling that if anyone else were in the exact same situation – even Mother Teresa or Ghandi – it would have been the same sort of outcome. It’s hard to turn your emotions off just like that. I don’t think it’s anything to be proud of to act that way, but it’s entirely understandable. You just don’t go from 100% fired up to play to calm and accepting within 60 seconds.

  9. Even if Doan was mouthing off to Brown in the handshake line, who cares? It’s Doan’s choice and Brown looks like an in-bred little b*tch anyway. Go Devils

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