PHOENIX — A longtime National Hockey League player from Alberta will serve as a pallbearer at Sen. John McCain’s memorial service.
Shane Doan of Halkirk, Alta., who retired after the 2016-17 NHL campaign following a 21-season career with the Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes, will be part of the service on Thursday.
"Senator McCain was a shining example of what a modern leader should be," Doan said in a statement. "He represented Arizona and the United States with class and dignity, and the courage and incredible strength that he demonstrated, in every test a man could face, impacted everyone who simply heard his story.
"His love for life was contagious and his passion for his family, state, country and Arizona sports teams left you optimistic and energized. I am so honoured to have been able to call Senator McCain my friend, and am grateful to his family for allowing my family to be a part of their lives. Our hearts go out to (his wife) Cindy and all the family during this difficult time."
Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald will speak during service in Phoenix, preceding former Vice-President Joe Biden. Former Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez will also serve as a pallbearer.
McCain, who died at age 81 on Saturday after battling brain cancer, was an avid sports fan and supporter of Arizona’s teams.
He attended countless professional and collegiate games in Arizona for more than two decades. He became friends with many of the athletes in the area, including Fitzgerald, Doan and Gonzalez.
Fitzgerald penned a tribute to McCain last Christmas and visited the ailing senator at his Sedona ranch earlier this year.
— With files from The Associated Press.