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|Brendan Shanahan was a fan favorite in St. Louis when he played for the Blues in the early 1990s (Getty Images). |
NEW YORK - Brendan Shanahan, one of the most prolific goal scorers in National Hockey League history, a three-time Stanley Cup champion and an Olympic Gold Medal winner, has joined the League as Vice President of Hockey and Business Development, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Thursday.
On the game side, Shanahan -- an original member of the NHL Competition Committee -- will work with Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell and his staff, providing insights from a player's standpoint into trends that have emerged; he also will help anticipate trends that might develop. On the business side, he will work with Chief Operating Officer John Collins and his staff to ensure that the League’s marketing efforts fully integrate and maximize the interests of the game and the players. Shanahan, who additionally will handle special projects as determined by Commissioner Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, will be based in the League's New York office.
“The League, at all levels, will benefit tremendously from Brendan's passion for the game and from the wisdom of his experience gained in 21 years of playing the game,” Commissioner Bettman said. “Throughout his career, Brendan was the consummate team player, putting the success of his team and the good of the game above individual accomplishments. I am certain he will be able to bring that same approach to his new role.”
“I am thrilled to remain involved in the game I love and am looking forward to learning 'the other side' of it,” said Shanahan, who played in eight All-Star Games. “The game is in a great place and is poised for further growth. The quality of the players and the competition has never been better. It took a collective effort to get to this point and I look forward to being part of a group that continues to grow the game – on and off the ice – in the coming years.”
The 40-year-old Shanahan, who announced his retirement November 17, ended his playing career where it began, as a member of the New Jersey Devils. The second player selected in the 1987 Entry Draft (Pierre Turgeon was first), Shanahan made his NHL debut on October 9, 1987, and registered an assist on a Pat Verbeek goal in a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. After four seasons in New Jersey, Shanahan signed as a free agent with St. Louis in 1991 before being traded to Hartford (for Chris Pronger) in 1995. Early in the 1996-97 season, he was sent to Detroit (for Paul Coffey, Keith Primeau and a 1st-round draft choice) where he would enjoy his greatest success, including three Stanley Cups in nine years. Shanahan went on to play the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons with the New York Rangers before bringing his career to a close with the Devils.
Shanahan, a six-time 40-goal scorer, retired as the League's 11th-leading goal scorer with 656 and its 23rd-leading point producer with 1,354 (along with 2,489 penalty minutes) in 21 seasons. He played on the Red Wings' Stanley Cup championship teams in 1997, 1998 and 2002. He also won Olympic Gold with Canada at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Shanahan was voted to the First All-Star Team in 1993-94 and 1999-00 and the Second Team in 2001-02. He was awarded the King Clancy Trophy for his off-ice humanitarian work in 2002-03.