Doan issues statement on elbowing suspension: “I recognize how bad it looked but there was no intent to injure”

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Shortly after receiving a three-game suspension for his elbow on Dallas’ Jamie Benn, Phoenix captain Shane Doan issued a statement of explanation/apology on the Coyotes website.

Here’s the full text:

I accept the NHL’s decision and ruling. I am thankful that Jamie Benn was not hurt on the play. I recognize how bad it looked but there was no intent to injure him. Jamie Benn is a class act and I appreciate how he handled everything. I apologize to the NHL, my teammates and our fans for missing the next three games as we continue to fight for a playoff spot.

Having a player issue his own personalized public statement is pretty rare. St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong posted something similar to the Blues website on behalf of Chris Stewart (following the Niklas Kronwall boarding suspension), but Doan addressing the suspension himself is unique.

Reading more into Doan’s statement, it’s possible this might’ve been an effort to restore his reputation. The elbowing suspension means he’s now got one of the bigger files in the NHL’s “Repeat Offender” cabinet — 17 months ago, he was suspended three games for a headshot on then-Ducks forward Dan Sexton; five days ago he was fined $2,500 for boarding Calgary’s Mark Giordano.

Not exactly the kind of resume you’d expect from someone regarded as one of the NHL’s “good guys.”