Thursday, January 23, 2014

2001-02 Detroit Red Wings Brendan Shanahan Jersey

Born on this date in 1969, 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 Knights
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.

Shanahan Devils

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 Blues

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.

Shanahan Whalers

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.

Shanahan Red Wings

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 for the 2000-01 season and again in 2001-02, which included scoring his 500th career goal, 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.

Additionally, Shanahan also recored his 1,000th career point that season and Detroit capped off what was already a memorable season for Shanahan by winning their third Stanley Cup championship in six seasons when they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes in five games.

Shanahan Red Wings

Following that championship, the third of Shanahan's career, he 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.

Shanahan Rangers

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", which consist of a goal, an assist and a fight all during the same game.

Today's featured jersey is a 2001-02 Detroit Red Wings Brendan Shanahan jersey as worn during the season Shanahan would score his 500th career goal, his 1,00th career point as well as winning his third Stanley Cup.

The Red Wings franchise changed their name from the "Falcons" following the 1931-32 season to the "Red Wings". With the new name came the famous winged wheel logo, which they placed on a red sweater with only simple white arm and waist bands for the 1932-33 season onwards. It remains essentially the same today, with only minor tweaks along the way, with the most "major" change being the addition of names on the back in 1977-78, four years after names were added to their white jerseys.

 photo DetroitRedWings2001-02jersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a Team Canada 2002 Brendan Shanahan jersey. This alternate jersey was introduced by Team Canada for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah and revived the crest from the Canada National Team sweaters of 1924.

Canada opened play at the 2002 Olympics with a 5-2 loss to Sweden while wearing these heritage inspired red jerseys on February 15, 2002, and due to the loss, these beautiful jerseys were immediately branded as "bad luck" by the over-reacting Canadians and were never worn again, not even in a subsequent World Championships, a true shame to write off such an attractive jersey so quickly.

Following the opening game loss, Canada would squeak by a decidedly weaker German team 3-2 and then finish a poor third in Group C after a 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic, which had the entire nation up in arms.

Still, it was enough to advance to the single-elimination Final Round, where Canada outlasted Finland 2-1 and were handed a ticket to the gold medal game by drawing hockey minnows Belarus in the Semifinals following their version of the "Miracle on Ice" when they defeated Sweden 4-3 thanks to a goal from center ice that bounced in off the Swedish goaltender's head!

After dispatching Belarus 7-1, the now confident Canadians defeated the United States 5-2 to capture the gold medal in another highlight to Shanahan's storybook 2002, which later saw him hoist his third Stanley Cup.

Shanahan's international career began with the 1987 World Juniors, where Canada was infamously disqualified for their lengthy brawl with the Soviet Union. He then was a member of the championship winning 1991 Canada Cup team and found success again at the 1994 World Championships with a gold medal.

He also was a member of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey team which placed second, as well as the 1998 Winter Olympic squad, the first to feature NHL players. After winning the gold medal at the 2002 Olympics, which made him a member of the Triple Gold Club (World Championship gold, Olympic gold and Stanley Cup championship), he concluded his international career at the 2006 World Championships, an event he was only able to participate in twice due to his frequent appearances in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Red Wings each spring.

 photo Canada2002ThrowbackOlympicjersey.jpg

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.

Fast forward to goal #500, scored during his magical 2002.

For more on Shanahan, we recommend the following profile on Shananan from the MSG Network in four parts.

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