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Brendan Shanahan

Brendan Shanahan
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2013
Shanahan with the Leafs in 2015
Born (1969-01-23) January 23, 1969 (age 50)
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Right
Played for New Jersey Devils
St. Louis Blues
Hartford Whalers
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 1987
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 1987–2009

Brendan Frederick Shanahan (born January 23, 1969) is a Canadian professional ice hockey executive and former player who currently serves as the president and alternate governor for the Toronto Maple Leafs, having previously served as the director of player safety for the National Hockey League (NHL). Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils second overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Shanahan played in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils (two stints), St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers.

While playing with the Red Wings, he won three Stanley Cup championships (1997, 1998, 2002). In 2017 Shanahan was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.[1]

With his physical play and goal scoring ability, Shanahan scored 656 goals in his NHL career spanning over 1,500 NHL games and, at the time of his retirement, was the leader among active NHL players for goals scored. Shanahan is the only player in NHL history with over 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes.

Competing for Canada internationally, Shanahan won a gold medal at the 1994 World Championships, 2002 Winter Olympics, and a 1991 Canada Cup championship. Having won what are considered the three most prominent team titles in ice hockey, an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship and a Stanley Cup, Shanahan is a member of the elite Triple Gold Club.[2] Shanahan was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 8, 2013 as a member of the Red Wings.[3]

Brendan Shanahan also played a very small role in the comedy movie “Me, Myself and Irene” starring Jim Carey

Playing career

Start in New Jersey (1988–1991)

Shanahan was drafted by the New Jersey Devils second overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft after Pierre Turgeon. Expectations for Shanahan were high after a stellar career with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), with whom his number 19 has been retired. In his rookie season with the Devils, in 1987–88, he scored 26 points in 65 games as an 18-year-old. The following season, in 1988–89, he improved to 22 goals and 50 points. In his third NHL season, he emerged as a point-per-game producer with 72 points in 73 games and a top scorer with the Devils; his 30 goals finished tied for second in team goal-scoring behind John MacLean.[4] In his fourth and final year of his initial stint with the Devils in 1990–91, he scored 29 goals and 66 points. At the age of 22, Shanahan was already an established scorer in the NHL. He had also played well in the Devils' playoff runs.

To the St. Louis Blues (1991–1995)

Becoming a free agent following the 1990–91 season, Shanahan was signed by the St. Louis Blues on July 25, 1991.[5] According to the collective bargaining agreement, he was a restricted free-agent, and therefore, the Devils were due compensation. Ordinarily, this compensation would be in the form of draft picks, but the Blues already owed four first-round draft picks to the Washington Capitals for signing defenceman Scott Stevens the previous year. The Blues made an offer for compensation that consisted of Curtis Joseph, Rod Brind'Amour and two draft picks even further down the road.[citation needed] However, the Devils were only interested in Scott Stevens. An arbitrator eventually decided that Stevens was to be the compensation, so Shanahan joined the Blues in exchange for Scott Stevens.[5]

While Shanahan's first season for the Blues yielded similar statistics to his seasons with the Devils, he would reach another level in 1992–93 with 51 goals and 94 points in 71 games. He finished second in team goal-scoring to Brett Hull and third in team point-scoring overall. Continuing at that pace the next season, in 1993–94, he recorded personal bests of 52 goals, 50 assists and 102 points. In addition to leading the Blues in points, he was named to the 1994 NHL All-Star Game at mid-season and the NHL First All-Star Team at the end of the year.

During the 1994–95 NHL lockout, Shanahan played three games for Düsseldorf EG of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), scoring five goals and three assists in his short stay overseas. When NHL play resumed, he continued to play well for the Blues, recording 41 points in the lockout-shortened season. In the 1995 playoffs, he led the team in scoring with nine points in five games.

Year in Hartford (1995–1996)

After four seasons with the Blues, on July 27, 1995, Shanahan was traded to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for defenceman Chris Pronger,[5] succeeding Pat Verbeek as team captain. In Shanahan's only full season for Hartford, he scored a team-high 44 goals and 78 points and for his efforts was selected to the 1996 All-Star Game. With the uncertainty of the franchise, however, Shanahan requested a trade,[5] and on October 9, 1996, just two games into the 1996–97 season, he was moved, along with Brian Glynn, to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Keith Primeau, defenceman Paul Coffey and a first-round draft pick.[5]

Three Stanley Cup championships with Detroit (1996–2006)

Shanahan finished off the 1996–97 season with his usual productivity, scoring a total of 47 goals for the season, and also being named to the 1997 NHL All-Star Game. In the 1997 playoffs, he also contributed with nine goals and eight assists, helping the Red Wings to their first Stanley Cup since 1955. They repeated as Cup champions the next year, despite an off-season for Shanahan in which he managed just 57 points. The following season, in 1998–99, Shanahan continued at that pace with 58 points, but was still invited to another All-Star Game. Entering the 1999 playoffs as back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, the Red Wings were eliminated by the rival Colorado Avalanche. The next year, in 1999–2000, Shanahan scored 41 goals, indicating a return to his usual form, however the Red Wings were once again eliminated by the Avalanche in the 2000 Playoffs. After the season, he was named to the First All-Star Team for the second time in his career. He followed up his resurgent season scoring 76 points in 2000–01, although Detroit were upset in the first round of the 2001 playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings.

The 2001–02 season was a banner one for both Shanahan and the Red Wings. Having picked up future Hall-of-Famers Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and Dominik Hašek in the off-season, the team was primed to win its third Cup since 1997. They cruised to victory and Shanahan continued to play a big role in their success, scoring 37 goals during the regular season and 19 points in their ultimately-victorious Stanley Cup run. Shanahan also picked up an Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City with Team Canada and was named to the Second NHL All-Star Team. The season was also of particular statistical significance for Shanahan, as shortly preceding his Olympic gold medal victory, he recorded his 1,000th point in the NHL after scoring two goals against Marty Turco in a 4–2 victory over the Dallas Stars on January 12, 2002.[6] Then, later in the season, Shanahan also reached the 500-goal mark, scoring the game-winner against Patrick Roy in a 2–0 victory over Colorado on March 23. The win also marked a team accomplishment as it clinched a Presidents' Trophy as the top ranked regular-season team.[7]

In the season following Detroit's third Stanley Cup, Shanahan scored 30 goals and 68 points and won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy at the end of the year for his humanitarian efforts. In the following season, however, his production dipped to 25 goals and 53 points, his lowest totals in 15 years. After a one-year absence due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Shanahan showed yet another return to form in 2005–06, tallying an impressive 40 goals and 81 points, good for third among Red Wings in scoring.

More success with the Rangers (2006–2009)

Shanahan (with the "A" on his jersey) warms up during a September 2007 pre-season game.

Shanahan became a free agent following the 2005–06 season and subsequently signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the New York Rangers.[8] After completing a successful nine-year stay in Detroit, he expressed a desire to move on in his NHL career, stating, "It really came down to an instinct I had. Detroit has a great past and a great future ahead of them as well, but I guess I just felt that maybe I was identified with the past a little bit more than the future."

Shanahan with the Rangers, 2008 playoffs.

Shanahan began his Rangers career by scoring his 599th and 600th career goals against Olaf Kölzig on October 5, 2006, in a 5–3 season opening win against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.[9] With assists coming from Petr Průcha on both goals, he became just the 15th player in NHL history to reach the 600-goal mark. Shortly thereafter, on November 14, 2006, Shanahan received the inaugural Mark Messier Leadership Award, an award given monthly to a player selected by Mark Messier who best exemplifies leadership skills on and off the ice. Then, selected to his eighth All-Star Game, he was named captain of the Eastern Conference for the 2007 All-Star Game.[10] On February 1, 2007, he made headlines after expressing frustration in a press conference about his perception that NHL referees are biased against team captain Jaromír Jágr.[11] Later in the month, he was involved in a severe on-ice collision with Philadelphia Flyers forward and former Red Wings teammate Mike Knuble in a game on February 17. Shanahan and Knuble caught each other skating in opposite directions as Shanahan was headed for the bench, at which point Shanahan hit his head on the ice and was left unconscious for ten minutes. He was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital where he was released the next day.[12] After missing 15 games, Shanahan returned to the lineup in time for the 2007 playoffs, where the Rangers were defeated by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round. Shanahan completed his first season with the Rangers fourth in team scoring with 62 points in 67 games as an alternate captain to Jágr.[9]

After re-signing to another one-year contract with the Rangers,[13] Shanahan struggled to produce offensively as his points total dipped to just 46 points in 2007–08, his lowest total since his rookie season in 1987–88. With his contract expiring in the off-season, he was not tendered an offer by the Rangers, believed to be a result of the Rangers' pursuit of free agent Mats Sundin.[5]

Return to the Devils (2009)

Unable to come to terms with the Rangers, Shanahan sat out the first half of the 2008–09 season. Then, on January 10, 2009, it was announced that Shanahan agreed to join the New Jersey Devils for his second stint with the team. Four days later, on January 14, the terms of the contract were finalized and Shanahan signed a one-year, $800,000 prorated contract.[14] The time between Shanahan's departure from and return to the Devils was 17 years, 294 days, the longest gap in tenure with one team in NHL history.[15] Playing in his first game back with the Devils since 1990–91, he scored the first goal of the game against the Nashville Predators on a 5-on-3 power play by toe dragging the puck around the opposition player and then shooting it on the pad side on January 19 in a 3–1 win.[16] On August 5, 2009, Shanahan agreed to a one-year deal with the Devils returning for a 22nd season,[17] to play during the 2009–10 season. This would have been Shanahan's sixth season as a Devil. However, on October 1, 2009, the Devils and Shanahan parted ways, with Shanahan saying, "When I signed this past summer, Lou Lamoriello, Jacques Lemaire and I agreed that if we were unable to find a suitable fit in which I would be able to compete and contribute at the level I expect from myself, then I would simply step aside." Shanahan had played just four pre-season games of the 2009–10 season. He scored the Devils' last pre-season goal that year, on one of his last NHL shifts.[18]


During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Shanahan was the mastermind of what was dubbed "The Shanahan Summit," a two-day conference in Toronto. It gathered players, coaches and other influential voices to discuss improvements to the flow and tempo of the game. Ten recommendations were presented to both the NHL and National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA).

At the time of his retirement, Shanahan led active NHL players in Gordie Howe hat tricks with 17,[19] and he remains tied for second atop the all time leaderboard. Not all teams have kept records of this feat, however, and it is even believed that Gordie Howe himself only officially had two. According to a Yahoo! Sports article, Shanahan would choose to go into the Hall of Fame as a Red Wing, if he had to choose.[20]

Executive career

National Hockey League

On November 17, 2009, Shanahan officially announced his retirement after 21 years in the NHL. Shanahan said, "I would like to thank my family and all of the friends who have helped me achieve and maintain my childhood dream of playing in the National Hockey League," Shanahan said in a news release. "I am enormously grateful to all of my coaches and teammates I've had the privilege of learning from and playing along side of, throughout my career. While I always dreamed of playing in the NHL, I can't honestly say that I would have ever imagined that I'd be this fortunate and blessed. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has helped me fulfill this dream."[21]

In December 2009, Shanahan accepted an offer from the NHL to become the NHL's vice president of hockey and business development.[22] "In a broad sense, I think obviously, I am going to be another voice in the hockey ops, but at the same time people like [NHL COO] John Collins and [NHL EVP Communications] Gary [Meagher] and [NHL Deputy Commissioner] Bill [Daly] are going to allow me and teach me the business of hockey," Shanahan told "What I was excited about in their offer to bring me on board is that it was wide open for me. There was not going to be any room with a closed door and I would be given an opportunity to see and learn. As time goes by there will be some days where my role is more hockey specific and some days where my role is more business or marketing specific."

On June 1, 2011, Shanahan succeeded Colin Campbell as the NHL's Senior Vice President. When handing out rulings on plays that were sent to his office for review, Shanahan posted videos to the NHL's official Website in which he explained how they either did or did not breach NHL rules. He narrated all videos except French-language videos involving the Montreal Canadiens or Ottawa Senators; these were narrated by a deputy, Stéphane Quintal.

In his very first season as Senior Vice President, Shanahan delivered multiple suspensions to players for illegal hits.

Toronto Maple Leafs

On April 11, 2014, Shanahan was officially announced as the Toronto Maple Leafs' president and alternate governor. He is expected to oversee all operations for the hockey club. On the same day, the NHL announced that Quintal would succeed him as the league's chief disciplinarian.[23]

International play

Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Representing Canada Canada
Winter Olympics
Gold medal – first place 2002 Salt Lake City
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1994 Italy
Canada Cup
Gold medal – first place 1991 Canada Cup
Silver medal – second place 1996 World Cup of Hockey

Shanahan has participated in seven international tournaments for Canada:

Personal life

The son of Irish parents, Rosaleen and Donal, Shanahan also excelled in lacrosse.[24] As a youth, he played in the 1982 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Mississauga.[25] He grew up in Mimico, a neighbourhood of Etobicoke (now a part of Toronto), where he attended St. Leo's Catholic School and his family attended St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church.[citation needed] Shanahan briefly attended Catholic Central High School in London, Ontario, where he graduated.[citation needed]

Shanahan has three brothers—Danny, Brian and Shaun. He also attended Michael Power/St. Joseph High School, where he played on the hockey team and won an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) gold medal in 1985.[citation needed]

Shanahan married his wife Catherine on July 4, 1998, and the couple has three children together.[26][27] Shanahan became an American citizen on May 17, 2002. Shanahan has also had small roles in a few films. He appeared in a generic role in Me, Myself & Irene starring Canadian actor Jim Carrey.[28]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1985–86 London Knights OHL 59 28 34 62 70 5 5 5 10 5
1986–87 London Knights OHL 56 39 53 92 128
1987–88 New Jersey Devils NHL 65 7 19 26 131 12 2 1 3 44
1988–89 New Jersey Devils NHL 68 22 28 50 115
1989–90 New Jersey Devils NHL 73 30 42 72 137 6 3 3 6 20
1990–91 New Jersey Devils NHL 75 29 37 66 141 7 3 5 8 12
1991–92 St. Louis Blues NHL 80 33 36 69 171 6 2 3 5 14
1992–93 St. Louis Blues NHL 71 51 43 94 174 11 4 3 7 18
1993–94 St. Louis Blues NHL 81 52 50 102 211 4 2 5 7 4
1994–95 Düsseldorfer EG DEL 3 5 3 8 4
1994–95 St. Louis Blues NHL 45 20 21 41 136 5 4 5 9 14
1995–96 Hartford Whalers NHL 74 44 34 78 125
1996–97 Hartford Whalers NHL 2 1 0 1 0
1996–97 Detroit Red Wings NHL 79 46 41 87 131 20 9 8 17 43
1997–98 Detroit Red Wings NHL 75 28 29 57 154 20 5 4 9 22
1998–99 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 31 27 58 123 10 3 7 10 6
1999–2000 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 41 37 78 105 9 3 2 5 10
2000–01 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 31 45 76 81 2 2 2 4 0
2001–02 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 37 38 75 118 23 8 11 19 20
2002–03 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 30 38 68 103 4 1 1 2 4
2003–04 Detroit Red Wings NHL 82 25 28 53 117 12 1 5 6 20
2005–06 Detroit Red Wings NHL 82 40 41 81 105 6 1 1 2 6
2006–07 New York Rangers NHL 67 29 33 62 47 10 5 2 7 12
2007–08 New York Rangers NHL 73 23 23 46 35 10 1 4 5 8
2008–09 New Jersey Devils NHL 34 6 8 14 29 7 1 2 3 2
NHL totals 1524 656 698 1354 2489 184 60 74 134 280


Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
1987 Canada WJC DQ 6 4 3 7 4
1991 Canada CC 1st, gold medalist(s) 8 2 0 2 6
1994 Canada WC 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 4 3 7 6
1996 Canada WCH 2nd, silver medalist(s) 7 3 3 6 8
1998 Canada OG 4th 6 2 0 2 0
2002 Canada OG 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 0 1 1 0
2006 Canada WC 4th 8 3 1 4 10
Junior totals 6 4 3 7 4
Senior totals 41 14 8 22 54

Awards and honours

See also


  1. ^ "100 Greatest NHL Players". January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Triple Gold Club". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  3. ^ Cheli, Shanny headed to Hall of Fame
  4. ^ "1989-90 New Jersey Devils [NHL]". Hockeydb. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Brendan Shanahan - Legends of Hockey". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  6. ^ "Shanahan gets 1,000th point". CBC. January 13, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "Bad blood flows as Wings blank Avs, Shanahan scores 500th". CBC. March 23, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  8. ^ "Shanahan signs 1-year deal with Rangers". Associated Press. July 9, 2006. Archived from the original on February 25, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
  9. ^ a b Zinser, Lynn (October 6, 2006). "Jagr and Shanahan Ignite Rangers in Their Opener". NY Times. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  10. ^ "Sakic and Shanahan named All-Star captains". The Washington Post. January 18, 2007. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
  11. ^ "Angry Shanahan says refs are biased against Jagr". Associated Press.
  12. ^ Podell, Ira (February 18, 2007). "Rangers' Shanahan Released From Hospital". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  13. ^ Podell, Ira (July 10, 2007). "Rangers re-sign Shanahan". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  14. ^ "Veteran forward Brendan Shanahan signs with Devils". The Hockey News. January 15, 2009. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  15. ^ "The Newark Star Ledger. April 7, 2013. section 4 pg, 5".
  16. ^ "Devils dump Predators". National Post. January 19, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "It's official: Shanahan re-signs with Devils". North Jersey Media Group. August 5, 2009. Archived from the original on August 10, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
  18. ^ "New Jersey Devils Defeat New York Islanders 4-2, End Preseason at 4-0-1". In Lou We Trust. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  19. ^ The NHL without Brendan Shanahan is sadly now a reality
  20. ^ Puck Daddy chats with Brendan Shanahan about coaching vs. Bowman, fixing NHL and his finale theory about 'Lost'
  21. ^ "Shanahan announces his retirement". November 17, 2009. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  22. ^ "Shanahan named NHL's new VP for Hockey and Business Development - - News". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  23. ^ "Brendan Shanahan officially hired as Maple Leafs president". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 11, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  24. ^ Canoe inc. (February 4, 2005). "Shanny set to Rock?". Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  25. ^ "Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA" (PDF). Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  26. ^ A day in the life of Brendan Shanahan
  27. ^ Glittering night on Broadway
  28. ^ "Brendan Shanahan". International Movie Database.

External links

Preceded by
Neil Brady
New Jersey Devils first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Corey Foster
Preceded by
Pat Verbeek
Hartford Whalers captain
Succeeded by
Kevin Dineen
Preceded by
Ron Francis
King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner
Succeeded by
Jarome Iginla