© The Arizona Republic
Sept. 24, 2003 12:00 AM
Reporters can't interview Tyson Nash and Shane Doan together. They would both try to dominate the conversation and poke much fun at each other.
But separating them isn't easy, either, considering they've been nearly inseparable since teenagers when they were winning Memorial Cups with the Kamloops Blazers in British Columbia.
Now they are reunited again, and the Coyotes' locker room may never be the same.
"He's come a long ways since his farmer days," Nash, a left wing, said. "He's finally improved his wardrobe, but his wife probably deserves credit for that."
Said Doan: "We used to call him PBG. That stood for Pretty Boy Goon. He's tough - but seriously, he's never walked past a mirror he didn't like."
Tease. Dig. Nyuk. Nyuk. They are the Frick and Frack of the Coyotes, the G-rated version of Keith Tkachuk and Jeremy Roenick. And that might not be such a bad thing this season, which, if the critics are correct, could get awfully long and frustrating.
"I used to bug him about all the marbles he's got in his mouth," Nash said. "Every time he'd get mad on the ice, you couldn't understand a word he said. It was a riot."
So was the breakfast table when they were roommates for three years.
"I had a bad habit," said Doan, a right wing. "When I'd eat my cereal, I'd bite my spoon and he couldn't eat food with me for the first year. It drove him nuts. But he's finicky about things like that."
Felix and Oscar, er, Nash and Doan were mostly obsessed with winning. They rarely lost during the junior careers in the Western Hockey League.
"We had some great players on those teams," Nash said. "Darcy Tucker, Jarome Iginla, Corey Hirsch, Darryl Sydor, Scott Niedermayer. It was pretty amazing. They taught you how to win there." Nash and Doan hope for similar results in Phoenix. Acquiring Nash from St. Louis this summer will help, Doan promises.
"Tyson brings more energy to our whole team. He adds instant intensity," he said. "If we're going to have success, we're going to have to have high energy and intensity. I'm glad he's here. Playing with people you have a history with is pretty neat."
Nash and Doan get together in the off-season, and their wives have become good friends.
"When Shane went to Winnipeg, he used to call me all the time from the airplane phone, telling me he was playing video games with (Teemu) Selanne and clowning around with Tkachuk," Nash said. "I was so jealous he was there and I was battling away in the minors. But I was proud of him. We talked a lot, and with the Internet it got a lot easier. I think his wife types for him, though. He can't spell worth a lick."
They both can play hockey, and don't be surprised if they occasionally skate on the same line.
"He has a lot more skill than people give him credit for," Doan said of Nash. "He's changed his game to be an agitator, but he'll score some big goals for us this year."
"Shane better be scoring the goals, the big bull," Nash said. "That's what he is, you know. He's a bull in a china shop. He can't stop himself, so how can anybody else stop him?"