2013 HHOF Profile: Brendan Shanahan


The Hall of Fame is a unique part of sports as it is one of the parts of sport that provides the most debate. Every year players become eligible and players from the past remain eligible and fans debate which players should go in. No matter what the decision is there will be those that are upset that their favorites got in or that the people they thought should have no chance actually made it in. It happens every year and every fan has one player who they think should be in that isn’t and that shouldn’t be in but is. The Hall of Fame is nowhere near a science as the selection committee does not have any real criteria to decide who should make it into the hall. The way to decide a hall of famer is more so and eyeball test where you almost have to look at the player and just know that they are a hall of famer. Of course the selection committee looks at the stats and the standing of the player as well as the accomplishments of the players to truly determine the members of the hall. Overall if you cannot look at a player and just immediately realize that they are a hall of famer than they have no business being among the best of the best. Many of these players can pass that test when you realize what type of influence that they have had on the game itself. For some it is the way they played that changed the way people thought of a position. For others it is just their presence and their effort to improve the game that sets them apart from everyone. For Brendan Shanahan it is more the latter that makes him a sure hall of famer. Of course he was great on the ice making him a sure bet to enter the hall but it was the efforts he made off of the ice that can set him apart from many players. Not satisfied with the game as it was Shanahan would come up with the idea to bring players, coaches, and other people in the NHL together to try to improve the sport. During the 2004-05 lockout Shanahan would organize this gathering to try to create suggestions for rule changes to help advance the team. It would become the NHL Rules Summit and is now held every year and is part of the Shanahan legacy that goes along with his great playing career to make him a true Hall of Famer.

Shanahan is now known for the videos he makes explaining suspensions that he has handed out as the Director of Player Discipline for the NHL. Before his time in the NHL offices though, Shanahan would be one of the best left wingers of his era. He would regularly put up points throughout his long career as one of the most dependable players in the NHL. He would also be a perfect example of the new era in the NHL as he would rarely stay with a team for very long. It was a new time in the NHL when Shanahan was drafted in 1987 as the time of the star player staying on the same team was beginning to end. Free agency would allow players to seek out the biggest payday and it would allow teams to pay for the best players. Shanahan was an example of this type of player as he would play for five teams in his 20-year career and would make an impact everywhere he went. Unlike players who generally move because they are not good enough Shanahan would move because teams wanted him to help them to the finals. No matter where he went Shanahan would be able to be a player that could put up almost a point a game. It is a special accomplishment to be that type of player and it was even more special that he did it throughout 20 years of playing. Being consistent is one of Shanahan’s greatest attributes while he was playing and he would bring it to every one of his five teams. Winning three Stanley Cups and multiple international titles Shanahan was one of the best and most solid players making him a free agent that everyone wanted to have on his team. He will now enter the Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2013 after earning his spot among the best left winger in NHL history.


Brendan Shanahan, LW (1987-2009)
Detroit Red Wings (1996-2006)
1,524 GP
656 G
698 A
1,354 PTS
2,489 PIM
3-Time Stanley Cup Champion (1997, 1998, 2002)
8-Time NHL All-Star (1994, 1996-2000, 2002, 2007)
King Clancy Memorial Trophy Winner (2003)
Olympic Gold Medalist (2002)
Also Played for New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, and New York Rangers

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