More Shanny


I came to the rink yesterday with the idea of writing about “Brendan Shanahan’s brilliant start”: for the Rangers.

Good idea, right?

Apparently so, since I think all of my fellow beat writers had the exact same thought. It just goes to show that either A) great minds think alike, or B) we’re all woefully unoriginal.


Or maybe it’s that the 37-year-old Shanahan’s start has been impossible to ignore. Seven goals. Diving for loose pucks. Still sporting a welt on his head from the preseason.

The guy is old school, and the irony is that Shanahan was arguably the most instrumental player in helping to usher in the sport’s new rules.

Maybe he just knew something no one else did.

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  1. Yup, old school. Tough, physical, fearless, scarred and bruised, willing to fight if you look at him wrong.

    Wait, isn’t that everything Bettman has been telling us is wrong with hockey? The black eye on the players is a black eye on the sport? It’s better to not make highlight reels than make them for brawls?

    You know, Shanny turns 38 this year. He’s got a one-year contract. Retirement is coming. Then who’s left? Yeah, Ovechkin and Crosby are fun to watch, but they’re rarities. Who are the every day players you enjoy?

    The rules have changed to get rid of them. The cap will make them all journeymen. Skilled players have more room to work in, but the skilled players are spread thin in a 30 team league.

    Man, sometimes I hate this sport. Sometimes I don’t, but other times I flip on a classic game barely a decade old, see guys like Pat Verbeek beating the hell out of everything between him and the redlight, and wonder how owners let it all go so wrong.

    The NHL today is like that MA school today that banned tag…

  2. I love the fighting. Give me a little Fotiu, some Domi, Marty McSorley killing someone. I love the checking, too. Watching a guy eat boards is exciting as hell.

    But, that being said, it seems ridiculous to expect a game’s rules to experience a severe shift, as the NHL’s did last season, and then assume that the impact of those changes can be understood right away. Most young guys we’ll see for 4 or 5 years won’t have grown up with any sense of these expectations — it will take a while for a new, wide generation of finesse scorers to come of age in the no holding, no hooking world. Hopefully that will result in a league that has more than just a few skaters, and the action will become as fast and explosive as it could be — in all arenas at the same time.

    Of course, maybe not. Maybe the game will simply be sissified and no finesse growth will occur to make up for this. But, let’s face it, we’re in an adjustment period now. It’s the wrong time to expect a cohesive package. Isn’t the game the way it is still better than a year off?

    And, finally, that boarding call on Hollweg was b-ll—t.

  3. The NHL is in a sad, sad state right now… The NHL wanted to eliminate the endless hooking and holding (ansd interference away from the puck) that teams like New Jersey EXCELLED AT!

    Instead, the NHL went WAAAAAAAY overboard, and now they call “stick-checks and love taps” and they label them as HOOKS… They also call phantom boarding and charging calls on clean hits, and they are clearly destroying the game, for which I’ve been watching religiously for over 30 years…

    If you called everything by the book, every time, you’d have HOLDING on EVERY SINGLE PLAY, in the NFL… Would be loads of fun watching that, right???

    NHL officials need to start using “DISCRETION” and need to learn that if you totally eliminate the physical aspect of the game, and give teams 8-12 powerplays every night, the game will be ruined (some think it already has been)…

    I’m so disgusted with the state of the NHL right now, it makes me sick! Hopefully, Renney stays vocal about it, and finally shows some passion during the game, against these terrible officials…

  4. For the record, my comment had nothing to do with the new rules.

    The NHL has been going down this road for a decade. It led to the awful rules most recently, where the game was unwatchable.

    While the new rules do fix this considerably, they’ve still moved us too far from what so many of us fondly remember as hockey.

    Personally I think the best option would have been euro rinks, but that’s obviously a bit unreasonable.

  5. Beamer —

    Funny you should mention that. I did a story in the pre-lockout season about the viability of going to bigger rinks, and how that might open up the game. A lot of people were for it, but you’re right in that it was logistically very difficult. Namely, there was the issue of removing seats from arenas. Anyway, figured I’d mention it.

  6. I’m sure the idea flies better in Chicago, where those seats are empty, regardless.

    Haha, honestly, I’d love to see them change the dimensions for new arenas. So for the time being everyone is on the same size ice, but it would slowly start changing, and 60 years from now everyone outside of Pittsburgh has a european style rink.

    I see the complaints there, but c’mon, everyone used to love the charm of the Boston Garden being smaller. Imagine if half the league had that charm!

  7. Sam- First of all I would like to thank you for a great blog! Your cover is outstanding!

    Though I have one question. I think I have read every article written about NYR in NY media the last decade, or atleast any article online, the Post for a while left out Brooks columns on the website…

    Anyway, how come, so often, the 5-7 reporters covering the NYR, have the exact same angle? :)

    Also, something I miss in the media coverege of the NYR, are outside views on the team. Like interviews with old players, coaches ect.

    Without a doubt management have taken some really bad decisions with this team the last decade. Still there have always been really little subjective critics on how the team where run, only directly towards management.

    For example, Sather have taken allot of heat, for the results he got. Really little for his work.

    What I always missed where a interview with, for example, a old coach, or someone in the game but on the outside, saying that the Rangers where insane trying to play without a trapping system when 29 other teams in the league did ect. Cause they where. Allot of people around the league must have shaked their head at how they ran things in NY.

    A angle that might be controversial right now, is Renney’s puck possesion game. Thoose team with the biggest success right now defenitly seems to play a more uptempo style. I am a Swede, and always played in a system like Renney’s when I played. I really like it, Sweden had allot of success with it in the Olympics and the WCH last season. Though its a important decisons, and would be interesting to hear some views on what some experts thinks is the right path to take for the future!


  8. Shanahan is an “alternate” captain, not an “assistant” captain. When Shanahan is on the ice and Jagr isn’t, Shanny takes on the captain’s responsibilities and privileges (eg, talking to the ref about a call). Shanny does not get Jagr coffee, pick up his dry cleaning, etc…

  9. Ola —
    Thanks for your insight. As for your question about beat writers having the same angle, there’s a couple of answers.

    One, of course, is news. If there happens to be something new, whatever it is, we’re all likely going to touch on it.

    The other is often where the conversation flows. Often, for instance, we talk to Renney as a group, so there may be one thing that we all hear that we all decide to look into further.

    It’s a difficult balance, to be honest. I’m not one for the pack mentality, and I don’t particularly relish waking up in the morning and seeing that all of my colleagues have written the exact same thing that I did. More often, I’d prefer to do something new or different.

    Then again, the other side of it is this: I happen to have a lot of respect for the other writers who cover the team, all of whom have been doing it longer than me. So when I do see I’ve chosen the same angle as them, I’m at least reassured that I’m not way off base.

    All that said, today was a bit of an aberration.

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