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Alumni Reunion: Brendan Shanahan

Wednesday, 06.6.2012 / 12:00 AM ET / Fan Zone
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Alumni Reunion: Brendan Shanahan
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Brendan Shanahan played nine seasons with the Red Wings, winning three Stanley Cup titles. At least eight of his statistics remain near the top of the club's all-time lists, like his 309 goals (No. 7) and plus-144 rating (No. 7).

To Red Wings’ fans, Brendan Shanahan will always be remembered for winning three Stanley Cup titles and for his penchant for sticking up for his teammates against ardent rivals like the Colorado Avalanche.

But his longer lasting legacy on the league may likely be his influential voice in hockey’s darkest hour.

The mastermind of a two-day conference held during the 2004-05 lockout, Shanahan pulled together players, coaches, broadcasters and other influential hockey types to discuss improvements to the game. The idea was to make the NHL more exciting and entertaining for fans, and in many ways it worked.

Of the 10 recommendations that came out of the summit, the most groundbreaking adaptation was the shootout, meant to settle ties following scoreless overtime periods.

A certain lock for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Shanahan played nine remarkable seasons with the Red Wings and still holds top 15 franchise rankings in at least eight offensive categories, like No. 3 in game-winning goals (63); No. 4 in shots on goal (2,544); and No. 5 in power-play goals (115).

A fan-favorite among the Wings’ faithful, Shanahan, now the NHL’s vice president of hockey and business development, as well as the league’s head disciplinarian, sat down to talk about his for Wings’ teammates and his time in Detroit.

QUESTION: Do you keep in touch with any of your former Red Wings teammates? If so, who?

SHANAHAN: “Yeah, actually quite a few, like Kris Draper. I mean, you bump into guys, like Drapes, Steve Yzerman, Marty Lapointe. I mean, probably like a dozen of them.”

Q. Which of the current Red Wings is your favorite? And why?

SHANAHAN:Tomas Holmstrom, but every guy I played with. It’s tough to pick. Homer made me laugh, Nick’s a favorite, Pav, Hank, I don’t think I can pick one.’

Q. What was your favorite memory as a Red Wing?

SHANAHAN: “Probably winning our first Stanley Cup in 1997, here on home ice, sweeping Philadelphia. All the Stanley Cups were great, but when you win your first one, for almost all of us on the team, it was our first one.”

Q. Which of the guys you played with was the toughest?

SHANAHAN: “You know, Vladimir Konstantinov, the one year I got to play with him I was amazed at how tough he was. Darren McCarty was obviously very tough. But then there were guys like Nicklas Lidstrom, who didn’t necessarily play physically, but was extremely tough in that he just never missed a game, would not ever get hurt. Steve Yzerman was incredibly tough in how he could play with pain. So, you know, our players showed toughness in whatever form they could bring it.”

Q. Who was the funniest?

SHANAHAN: Tomas Holmstrom was probably my favorite guy, as far as, you know, if I could understand what he was saying I usually laughed.”

Q. Who had the biggest heart?

SHANAHAN: “Some guys display their heart in a really obvious way for everyone to see, but other guys are more subtle but their heart’s just as big, so again, I don’t think I could pick just one guy.”

Q. What was your favorite restaurant in metro Detroit?

SHANAHAN: “I used to like to go to the Townsend Hotel (in Birmingham, Mich.); get a big steak after games.”

Q. How has the NHL changed since you played?

SHANAHAN: “It’s gotten a lot younger.”

Q. Who did you sit next to in the dressing room?

SHANAHAN: “Kirk Maltby and Sergei Fedorov.”

Q. What do you love most about the game?

SHANAHAN: “I just love the intensity and the competition and the passion that you see each and every night, each and every playoff series.”

Q. Who had the greatest influence on your career?

SHANAHAN: “Probably my brothers. My brothers never played professionally in hockey, but they played hockey and lacrosse. When I was a little kid, they were instrumental in how I played the game and how I felt about teammates and the team concept. I always thought that they were just great teammates and great winners. I don’t think you have to copy an NHLer or a great hockey player. I copied my older brothers, and they didn’t really play anything beyond the beer league.”

Q. What advice would you give to kids playing today?

SHANAHAN: “Play for the fun of it. Don’t play to become a pro, just play to have fun. Dream about playing in the NHL, but don’t play for that reason. Just play for fun.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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