Canadian but also American citizen and NHL winger Brendan Shanahan announces on Tuesday his retirement from hockey, he was recently playing with the New Jersey Devils.
“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. “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.”
Brendan Shanahan played for ten years with the Detroit Red Wings (1996-2006), but he started his career in his natal Ontario with the OHL’s London Knights (he was just 15) where he played from 1985 to 1987, after this time he moved with the New Jersey Devils where he played from 1987 to 1991, and in the end of his career he came back in 2008 becoming his last team as a professional hockey player. Apparently after coming to an agreement that settled if Brendan as well as the Devils directives couldn’t find a place for Brendan to fit in, he could walk away. This was what Brendan said:
“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”.
Ironically The Devils were his opening team in the U.S as the team that watched him put an end to his professional hockey career.
After 1991 Brendan Shanahan left the Devils and became a free agent and a half (let me explain the devils still could claim compensation for Brendan, but the blues didn’t have this compensation, so they traded Brendan for Scott Stevens) let’s go on, so he was a St. Louis Blues that had a great start, he ended up in the second place in the goal scores in the team and third overall: and the next season in 1994 he was named NHL First All-Star Team.
After his great time in the Blues Brendan was unceremoniously traded to the Hartford Whalers in 1995, where he as the great player earned him the 1996 NHL All Star game title. Later he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Keith Primeau and Paul Coffey, and here is where the best part begins.
Probably the team he loves the most, the team that made him feel as part of a family. With his usual great start that lead him to earn once again the 1997 NHL All Star Game, but also after 42 years without winning The Red Wings won the Stanley Cup and once again the next season.
In 2000 for the second time in his career was named NHL First All Star Game, and Detroit won their third Stanley Cup. During this time he joined the Canadian hockey team in 2001 and won his first Olympic gold medal.
After his Olympic medal he was also named NHL Second All Star Game and he also scored his 1000th points plus reached the 500 goal mark (In hockey this mark is considered a very important and significant achievement), during this time for having an outstanding ranking score The Red Wings won the President’s Trophy, mostly because of Brendan’s spectacular goals. At this same time Brendan personally in recognition of his humanitarian work was awarded with The King Clancy Memorial Trophy (this award is given very year to those hockey players that have done significant humanitarian work and leaderships qualities are remarkable in and off court).
After having been in Detroit for nine seasons Brendan began to feel he was getting older and even thought Detroit still wanted him, he also knew they needed new and young talents to take the leadership role, and that is when New York came to his life.
At 38 years old Brendan Shanahan became a New York Ranger, even when others were a little uncertain because of his age, Brendan proved them wrong when he reached the 600 goal mark making this a tremendous achievement in his career and the 15th player to do so that elevated him to an icon status, and he was just getting warmer , he kept on scoring game after game, some remember this as he was scoring like if he was picking up apples.
Brendan’s reputation for putting the puck in the net is nothing compared to his reputation to be a team player that’s why after a month of becoming a Ranger Brendan was awarded by another prestigious distinction The Mark Messier Leadership Award, an award chosen and given by former Ranger Mark Messier .
Even though the most important figure in Brendan’s life, the one that helped him become a man was missing, he remembered and dedicated every achievement to his beloved father.
When his contract with the Rangers was ending in 2008, and unable to come to an agreement , so in 2009 Brendan Shanahan returns to the New Jersey Devils signing for one year, but after a few months and 21 years in hockey he announces his retirement.
Brendan Shanahan’s powerful play and amazing personality comes from all the support and love he always found in his family, in his early years in hockey, he found this from his wonderful parents Rosaleen and Donal and his best friends and brothers.
Brendan Shanahan’s Father Donal was an important influence in his life and when he was 14 he remembers his father’s health shaken, doctors diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s when Donal was 54 years old. At that time Alzheimer’s was not quite common and mentioned as it is today so he didn’t know what to expect, just figured it was going to be hard; Donal Shanahan died 4 years later, leaving Brendan in bad shape.
Later in his life he met his beautiful and lovely wife Catherine Janney (in 1998), together they welcomed in 2002 their twins Jack and Maggie, and in 2004 Catherine Rosaleen came to their lives, Catherine’s name was chosen after her mother and grandmother Shanahan.
Photos: Patricia Schlein / WENN, www.wenn.com