Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/04/05 at 10:43 PM ET
Hockey returns Wednesday night, after 16 months away, and what a long, strange trip it's been - none more so than the odyssey of Brendan Shanahan. When we last saw him he was in a somber Red Wings locker room, near tears. Now, he's Winston Churchill. OK. Maybe that's a stretch. But not much, once you hear his story. In the beginning, it was all a vacation. Shanahan, like a lot of NHL players, figured there was nothing he could do about the hockey lockout, so he made the most of the time. He flew to the Ryder Cup and wound up drinking with the European golfers. He traveled to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox end the Curse of the Bambino. He took up paddleball. He coached lacrosse at a high school. He even dropped the puck for his old junior team as it played for a championship in London, Ontario. "Aside from the fact that we were locked out," he jokes, "I was having a pretty good year."
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