More Shanny


Just finished “the Brendan Shanahan article in Men’s Vogue”:, and it’s brilliant. That said, I’m not sure what to make of this photo.


(Photo: Richard Phibbs)

I’m particularly partial to writer Alec Wilkinson’s depiction of this exchange between Brendan Shanahan and Sean Avery:

I had brought with me a copy of the Hockey Scouting Report for the 1990–91 season, because the photograph of Shanahan as a 22-year-old is so different from the way he appears today that I wanted to show it to him and see what he said. After he came off the ice and had taken a shower, we sat at a table in the cafeteria the Rangers share with the Knicks. A few other players began wandering in, moving the lazy way athletes often do, as if reluctant to make an unnecessary gesture.

Eventually Sean Avery, a seven-year veteran, arrived, wearing a white T-shirt and white baggy shorts. Avery and Shanahan played together on the Red Wings before Avery was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. Shanahan made a case to have him brought to the Rangers last season. Avery is an abrasive, passionate, and headlong player, and he seems to embolden the Rangers. In a Hockey News poll taken last season among players, he was also identified as the NHL’s most hated player. He so remorselessly irritates other players that they often forget to play the way their coaches told them to and just try to punish Avery whenever they can, leaving their coaches’ tactics in shreds.

Shanahan opened the Scouting Report and showed it to Avery. “Look at this kid,” Shanahan said. “You would have been terrified of him.” He read from his assessment. “ ’Don’t let Shanahan’s physical play fool you. There’s a pretty good finesse player underneath that steamroller exterior. He’s not a great skater and may never be by NHL standards in terms of speed or beauty…’ ”

Avery shook his head dismissively.

“ ’But he has a strong stride and good sturdiness and balance,’ ” Shanahan continued.

When Shanahan read “ ’His balance and strength serve him well in the traffic areas, and he can hurt people when he drives through his checks,’ ” Avery said, “I’m bored.”

“ ’And he’s a good scrapper,’ ” Shanahan continued. Avery rolled his eyes. Looking at me and gesturing at Shanahan, he said, “Get him to talk about how he loves roses and wine.”
Shanahan put the book down and said, “Let’s get out of here.”

“And his favorite designer right now is Alexander McQueen,” Avery said. Shanahan’s eyes seemed to widen. “Nobody wants to hear about your slap shot,” Avery said. “They want the real you.”

“I do have a thing for gardening,” Shanahan said bashfully.

“And his favorite movie is Running with Scissors,” Avery said.

“It is not,” Shanahan said, somewhat indignantly.

One fairly small quibble is that Shanahan is referred to as a left wing for the Rangers. Although Shanahan has played both wings in his career, he’s played the right side almost exclusively in New York.

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  1. I loved reading that article about Shanahan in the Men’s Vogue magazine. You are right Sam, it is BRILLANT. I emphasize that too. Sometimes when you watch hockey, most fans only care about the team winning and most of all .. winning the Cup. It’s nice to know the player “behind the scene” without being too personal. Shanahan and his personality are what legends are made of.

  2. Shanny is known for hitting up the clubs in NY last year he was spotted with that crackhead lindsey lohan. So im sure him and Avery have many nights out together. so i agree a reality show with shanny and Avery would be funny…


  3. That´s what I said to the two Rangers´fan I met at Gretzky´s in Toronto after the Rangers beat the Leafs 3-2 in a shootout when Shanny scored on one of the penalties… I always favoured him liked his personality even when he played for the Wings….

  4. Seamus O Riley on


    I gotta be honest with ya…I enjoy this blog a lot more when we discuss hockey….I wish you’d leave this trash for Page 6 of the Post….

    we get some pretty good discussion here….I am more concerned about:

    1. Shanny’s hands. Larry Brooks says that he is losing them, and a week later apologizes. He has missed some open nets at times, but in the shootout, was right on target. Could be good discussion.

    2. Avery. I could care less if he is the sexiest man alive, or a true mysogonist (I have my own thoughts on his behavior with starlets and anorexics) but am interested in why our record is better with him than without him, yet still worry about him taking needless penalties…or can he keep it togethr for the playoffs or disappear the way he did against Buffalo??? THAT would be interesting.

    3. Malik. How to get him off the roster.

    4. Hossa. see above.

    thanks for letting me throw in my .02

  5. Seamus, we can only hope Glen Sather shares your view of Malik and Hossa. I’d love to see both of those guys off the roster, although I could be persuaded to keep Hossa if he plays on the 4th line.

  6. ThisyearsModel on


    What is the deal with Andrew? Did he get a better offer? He is a wonderful writer and I will miss his jets coverage.

  7. I personally love the inside info on the players. Avery is right, you can talk all day about a guys slap shot, but the reality is that MOST fans will not be able to really relate to that. Suddenly someone 55+ gets to hear that their beloved Shanny enjoys gardening (or whatever)….*just like them!* It goes a long way.

    I loved hearing that rowdy Avery likes Radiohead in the Times interview, and *still* wish a *certain someone* would ask him what he thinks about the new album and maybe even what effect it could potentially have on the record industry being a “choose your own price” release that made millions of dollars that goes directly into Radiohead’s pocket and not to a record company.

    It’s also not as if the meat and potatoes break down of tonights game is not on it’s way. That’s what *I* like about this blog. You’re getting info through the allegedly unbiased filter of someone who is clearly a true fan at heart, and that childlike, starry-eyed view of the team leaks through in Sam’s writing from time to time. *That* is what I find brilliant, whether intentional or not.

  8. Seamus – If there’s news about a Ranger, hockey-related or otherwise, I’d like to know about it. I would never have known to hunt down a copy of Men’s Vogue if it wasn’t for Sam’s article.

  9. Also, does anyone have ANY CLUE where I could find a pair of the new RBK NHL hockey *socks*? Sure the actual jerseys are being forced down our throats…but I want those SOCKS baby! I really would like to try them out. I’ll take any color if anyone knows where to find em online or has any more info. NHL store in NYC maybe? Anyone been there yet?

  10. Salty, I been to the store here in NYC and it is pretty much just a giant Reebok advertisement. Although I didnt see the socks, they might have them because they seem to have everythign reebok makes except for rangers apparel. And can someone tell me why theres a giant wall of shoes? I understand pretty much everything else in the store except for the shoes. Do any of you know people who wear sneakers to play hockey? Like I said, giant Reebok advertisement.

  11. Salty – unfortunately for Radiohead, if I remember correctly, 2/3 of the people who downloaded the album paid nothing for it. I would still rather have an actual CD in my hands to play in places where I can’t connect my iPod, especially since it hasn’t worked since the middle of summer and I’m just getting a new one.

  12. I’ll read the Shanny article tomorrow. Right now I’m focused on killing the Islanders. I hope the Rangers share my thoughts at this time.

  13. Seamus that’s why there is chocolate and vanilla. I appreciated Sam’s insights and certainly would not have read the article if it was not linked here. So I pretty much disagree with your entire post including items 3 and 4. We’ll need the depth. This is a team with 23 players who will contribute at 1 pt or another. Hossa on the pk and along the boards. Malik has his bad pts but also good as well (see +/-)

  14. Spiderpig

    The average price the other 1/3 paid though was $8 (I heard this, no source)

    I also read somewhere that the album was downloaded over 1.2 million times in the first week.

    It’s pure profit into their pockets. They can afford to let people have it free. They know that is what would have happened anyway, y’know? They know about Bit Torrents, pre-releases, etc. They have legitimately beaten the system with this move, and I believe it will have a resounding effect on the future of the record industry as more and more bands experiment with this model.

    Ridiculous album though. It *definitely* took me a few listens to get it but it is just incredibly good.

  15. You can still burn the mp3 files onto a CD – SP. Great album love everything about it. Or you can just wait till they relase it in stores in JAN. Truely an AMAZING BAND. Credit is also due to Sam and this blog, and that indeed brillient article on Shanny. Great piece of writing, gives a great back story on a great player, and defines the man – without getting too personal. It has many angles – showing shanny’s courage, toughness, humbleness, dedication, work ethic, and humor. Great documented exchange between Shanny and Avery, and the writer makes his point without really showing it down your throat…

    Very enjoyable is this blog – don’t change a thing. Really surpised that Seamus defined this as “trash” -Shocked even..

  16. sam,
    thanks for the reference. the article was nice; i was wondering about shanny’s undershirt, turns out it’s a $1200 sweater! you don’t want to get that sweaty. Nice closing lines by the author, on Avery ignoring Shanny’s pointer on scoring, and the latter’s sense of perspective. wow.

    now the elder stateman, shanny i recall vividly had quite a temper when he came up with the devils.

  17. K gags:

    The thousands of people who play street, deck, and ball hockey all wear sneakers to do so.

  18. That sweater could cost a million bucks and it wouldn’t be any less horrible.

    As far as Seamus’s complaint: Sam, if you find it interesting, probably most of us will as well. Keep up your great work and thanks as always for the blog. Hope it somehow gets factored into your paycheck in a positive way.

    Go Rangers

  19. Well, I’m not buying the Radiohead album anyway since I’m not a fan. I just like buying the CD anyway, and it’s not like I’m old-school since I’m only 19; I just like the CD label and whatever is inside the case. Not a big fan of buying individual MP3s.

  20. Seamus O Riley on

    doing coke with Lindsay Lohan (whoever she is) and reality TV shows?

    I must be showing my age.

    Funny, but Shanny, when recovering from a concussion in a season where the NY Rangers were really going for the cup, was found dancing with transvestites at 4AM

    My initial reaction was: how well could his recovery going when he is out dancing? I guess that pretty much ages me to most of you.

    As to Malik’s +/-, what do you think would happen to that stat if a player were to be awarded a – each and every time he takes a penalty that leads to a goal? Even more so, what if, outside of stats, you observed Malik forcing the defense to work harder? What if you observed Malik putting Lundqvst on edge with every pass in front of the crease?

    I have never seen a worse hockey player don the Ranger sweater than Marek Malik. Never. I have never seen a player I could honestly say was worse than Malik. Add this to the fact that EVERY SINGLE one-goal game last year, he was on the ice for the last minute of play; was getting 20 minutes of ice time, and so much critical time.

    I have seen some real rotten tomatoes come through the Garden. Some guys came to cash checks rather than throw them.

    But in terms of inability to skate, shoot, or pass; as well as the refusal to block shots or even use his gigantic frame to CHECK someone,

    he is clearly, in my view, the worst player to put on that sweater.

    I wish we had more old school fans on the board, rather than the publicskooked tabloid mentality we have.

    My apologies to the guys who do a great job exchanging ideas: from many of them, I have learned much, and have changed my mind on occassion (Mara, for instance)—

    When guys are out partying, I don’t think of “reality” TV shows (I have never seen one, but I have heard that “reality” is about the last thing present) I think of conditioning and how stupid guys like Strawberry and Gooden were to throw away great careers for the partying world.

    Hockey is a most demanding sport. I hope that Staal and some of the other kids stay FAR away from some of the party animals AFTER the game is over. Go home, rest, eat well, think and breathe hockey. It is a real chance, this year….a real and tangible chance for the Cup.

  21. Cool article but as you mentioned there are some obvious mistakes. Shanahan doesn’t play LW here.

    And I also noticed this- “What Shanahan added to the team were elements of skill, resolution, and toughness that they had lacked the year before, when they were swept in the first round of the 2006 playoffs by the New Jersey Devils…”

    He wasn’t on the team that year, he scored 40 goals with Detroit. It goes on to say he tied for 2nd on the Rangers with 29 goals, but that was 06-07 not 05-06.

  22. Chris – that was the point re Shanny. He was missing that yr and the team was swept by the Devils,

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