Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Brendan Shanahan played his junior hockey with the London Knights of the OHL in 1985-85 and 1986-87 prior to being drafted second overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.
Shanahan while captain of the London Knights in 1986-87. Note the Cooperalls!
He scored 7 goals during his first season and more than tripled that to 22 during his second. 1989-90 saw him reach the 30 goal mark for the first time, as well as recording 42 assists for 72 points in 73 games. During his final season with the Devils, Shanahan just missed the 30 goal mark with 29.
He signed with the St. Louis Blues for the 1991-92 season as a free agent and once more reached the 30 goal mark with 33. Following the conclusion of his fifth season in the NHL, Shanahan was averaging 24 goals, 32 assists and 139 penalty minutes a season, making him a threat for a Gordie Howe Hat Trick each and every night with his goal scoring capabilities, playmaking skills and tough and rugged style.
His offensive game would reach another level during the 1992-93 season when Shanahan would become the 69th player in NHL history to record a 50 goal season when he totaled 51 goals. His 43 assists gave him a then career high of 94 points, all while topping his highest penalty minute total with 174.
Shanahan would set career highs across the board in 1993-94 when he scored 52 goals and 50 assists for his only 100 point season with 102 to lead the Blues in scoring, which did not happen often with sniper Brett Hull on the roster. Additionally, he topped 200 penalty minutes in the process with 211 for the season, also a career high.
After briefly playing in Germany during the NHL lockout of 1994, Shanahan returned to St. Louis to score 41 points in 45 games to close out his time in St. Louis.
Shanahan was then dealt to the Hartford Whalers for the 1995-96 season, where he led the club in goals with 44 and points with 78 while serving as the team captain.
Unhappy with the situation in Hartford, Shanahan asked to be traded, a request which was granted two games into the 1996-97 season, which sent him to the Detroit Red Wings, a move which would pay immediate dividends.
The Red Wings had been a team on the rise with the arrival of head coach Scotty Bowman in 1993. The Red Wings kept adding vital pieces and solid role players and reached the Stanley Cup Finals first in 1995. After losing in the conference finals in 1996, Shananan's arrival early in the 1996-97 season had an immediate impact on the team, as he led the club in scoring with 46 goals and 87 points and provided another gritty player to a lineup filled with rough, hard hitting players. After besting rivals the Colorado Avalanche in the conference finals, the Red Wings easily swept the Philadelphia Flyers in four straight for Shanahan's first Stanley Cup championship as well as the Red Wings first since 1955.
Shanahan's point total decreased by 30 points the following season as the NHL entered a new, more defensive era, leaving the days of 150 point scorers in the rear view mirror. For the remainder of his career, Shanahan would only top 80 points once more and never again reach the 46 goals he scored in 1996-97. Still, he remained a consistent, tough as nails two way player who remained in the top for in scoring annually for Detroit.
After scoring 28 goals in 1997-98, as the Red Wings repeated as Stanley Cup champions, Shanahan reeled of five consecutive 30 goal seasons, including a high of 41 in 1999-00. He led the Red Wings in scoring in both 2000-01 and 2001-02, which included his 500th career goal on this date in 2002, making him the 30th player in the history of the NHL to achieve that lofty status, which he did with the game winning goal in a 2-0 win over heated rivals the Avalanche and Hall of Fame Goaltender Patrick Roy in his 1,100th game.
Even better, Shanahan also recored his 1,00oth career point that season and Detroit capped off the campaign with their, and Shanahan's, third Stanley Cup championship in six seasons when they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in five games.
Following that championship, Shanahan would play three more seasons with Detroit, including a 40 goal, 81 point 2005-06 season, his final year in Detroit, prior to moving on to the New York Rangers as a free agent for two seasons.
He returned to where it all started when he signed with New Jersey for the second half of the 2008-09 season after sitting out the first three months of the season. During the second half of the season, he would play the final 34 games of his career before retiring just prior to the 2009-10 season.
His final career NHL totals are 1,524 games played with 656 goals and 698 assists for 1,354 points and 2,489 penalty minutes, three Stanley Cups and what is believed to be a record 17 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks.
Today's featured jersey is a 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings Brendan Shanahan jersey as worn during the Super Skills Competition at the 1998 NHL All-Star Game in Vancouver. The 1998 NHL All-Star Game was the first to feature the World vs. North America format to promote the participation of the best NHL players in the upcoming Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
For the Super Skills Competition, each player wore their regular club team jerseys only with the addition of a patch from each player's country of origin to tie into the theme of the World vs. North America format for the following day's All-Star Game.
While the World vs. North America format would continue for four more years, 1998 would be the only occasion that the flags would be added to the player's club team jerseys for the Super Skills Competition.
Shanahan, and teammates Slava Fetisov, Igor Larionov and Nicklas Lidstrom, who all wore white Red Wings jerseys for the World team, had the flags placed above the "Believe" patch worn in support of teammate Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov who were seriously injured in a limousine crash in the days following their 1997 Stanley Cup championship.
During the competition, Shanahan would tie for the win in the Accuracy Shooting contest with Ray Bourque and Peter Forsberg hitting all four targets in six shots while wearing today's featured jersey.
Today's video section begins with a well done tribute to Shanahan, which highlights various eras and aspects of his game.
While he was a fearsome competitor on the ice, he had a great sense of humor off the ice, evidenced by the following.
Here footage of Shanahan's first NHL goal, scored while with the Devils.
Fast forward to goal #500, scored on this date in 2002.
For more on Shanahan, we recommend the following profile on Shananan from the MSG Network in four parts.