The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/25/12 at 04:46 PM ET
The Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its 2012 induction class tomorrow at 3 PM EDT (the announcement will be televised on TSN and the NHL Network U.S.), and it’s more or less guaranteed that former Red Wings forward Brendan Shanahan will receive a phone call from the HHOF’s selection committee sometime on Tuesday morning. As such, DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose spoke to Wings GM Ken Holland about Shanahan’s legacy before he joins the Wings’ long list of 2002 Stanley Cup-winners who have or will be inducted into the HHOF:
“He could score and he was tough and of his era, there wasn’t a lot of guys who could score 40 goals and also drop the gloves and fight with the heavyweights in the National Hockey League,” Holland said. “He was hard, he could score big goals, he could fight, he was a big time power forward.”
He led the Wings in goals in four consecutive seasons (1996-2000) and his 109 career game-winners still ranks fourth in league history behind Phil Esposito (118), Jaromir Jagr (114) and Hull (110). He’s also the only player in league history to record 600-or-more regular-season goals and 2,000-or-more penalty minutes.
“He was one of the final pieces that we needed to get over the top,” Holland said of Shanahan. “We had a talented team in the early 90s once we had Vladimir Konstantinov and Nicklas Lidstrom on the back end with Sergei Fedorov and Steve Yzerman with the obvious nucleus up front. We needed to go through some growing pains, Scotty made some tweaks but ultimately the moves that were made with Brendan Shanahan, Larionov and Slava Fetisov – as I look back – were probably the final pieces to the puzzle to us winning the Stanley Cup in 1997.”
Shanahan finished his playing career with the New Jersey Devils, the franchise that made him a first-round draft pick (second overall) in 1987. He’s now the NHL’s head disciplinarian where he continued to earn the respect and admiration from around the league.
“He took an interest in the league so it was probably a natural,” Holland said. “He has a passion and to accomplish what he did in his career – not only was he talented but he had a tremendous amount of passion – and he’s brought that same passion to the front office in New York. He has a lot of respect for the way he played the game and for what he accomplished.”
In the years to come, Red Wings’ fans can certainly expect to see at least five more members of the ’02 team to head to hockey immortality beginning with Chris Chelios who will be eligible for the 2013 class. He’ll be followed by [Sergei] Fedorov, [Nicklas] Lidstrom, Dominik Hasek and Pavel Datsyuk.
“Certainly going up to Toronto every year,” Holland said, “you really reflect back on what an incredible time the late 90s and the early 2000s were in Red Wings hockey history.”
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.