You never can really grasp how good a set of hands Brendan Shanahan has until you see them up close, and no, I’m not talking about what the right wing does on the ice.
Instead, it was just now in an otherwise tedious announcement for the inaugural Mark Messier Leadership Award — which will be given on a monthly basis,and which was given to Shanahan before tonight’s game against the Devils at the Garden.
Consider the scene: a packed press conference, including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and of course, the stone-jawed Messier. Shanahan was given the award, then came to the podium for a brief acceptance speech. When he walked off, Shanahan made sure to grab the actual award, which was a piece of crystal on a wooden stand, but clumsily lost hold of it for a brief moment. But then came the hands: Just as the crystal was falling to the floor, Shanahan snagged it out of mid-air. He exhaled, and so did everybody else.
Think about it. Of the possible ways for Shanny to show his gratitude to the Captain, I’m not sure smashing his new award to the ground would be one of them.
Anyway, the only other interesting tidbit from the ceremony came when Messier remarked on how well Shanahan was playing “at age 38.” Later, when Shanahan took the podium, he made sure to correct him. “I turn 38 on Jan. 23, so I’ll go by 37 until midnight then.”
A few other thoughts: