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Abel to Yzerman

The Two Sides Of Shanny

Perhaps we know better than most that Brendan Shanahan’s a complex dude.  In the eleven years we watched him play in Detroit we saw the combative Shanny, the compassionate Shanny, the outspoken and sometimes silent Shanny.  This week, Ranger fans are getting a taste of two distinct aspects of his personality: the “ambassador”, and the petulant.

First, two of our deep diggers mind melded and brought us nearly word-for-word identical stories on Shanahan’s age, status as league statesman and all star.

John Niyo/Detroit News

“I am theolder guy, I guess,” he said, laughing. “I just asked (Colorado’s) Joe Sakic when his birthday was and unfortunately I’ve got him by a few months.”

It’s six months, actually—Sakic won’t turn 38 until July—but what’s a few months between friends?

Helene St. James/Detroit Free Press

Brendan Shanahan eyed Joe Sakic at their hotel Monday morning, walked over and asked when his birthday is.

The answer was a relief for one of the forwards, who will meet Wednesday night in the NHL All-Star Game at American Airlines Center.

“I’m in July, so I’m a lot younger,” said Sakic, 37. “A lot younger.”


Yep, that’s our DD’s.  Always looking for those creative angles.

Meanwhile, in New York, we take you to the Daily News Blue Shirt Blog.  Ranger beat writer John Dellapina posted a transcript of a recent interview with Shanahan…a very frustrated Shanahan.

“I really do think that if we’re smart (pauses, laughs), if we’re smart, we’ll change a few things. And change the look of it really. We really go out and give the opposing team exactly what they’ve scouted. We really don’t change anything.

“It’s really simple for a team to come out and do a pre-scout on the New York Rangers power play. And then we don’t disappoint. We go out and do exactly what they’re expecting us to do.”

It was rare that we saw that side of Shanahan in Detroit, but the possibility of it (especially during the Bowman years) was always right there.  You just knew he was tempted to fire back when Scotty would play his games through the media, but he usually held it in check.  There would be the occasional very dry comment that the DD’s typically didn’t see the relevance of.  But, by and large, he held back…because he respected Bowman, even while he may not have appreciated his tactics.

Also, Shanahan’s frustration in this case stems from losing, and losing consistently. His ire with Dellapina was specifically directed at the NYR power play, but it’s the losing that has Shanny feeling grouchy.

And that’s the root of it, really.  Having lost 11 of their last 18, fallen to 9th in the conference and in a frigging dogfight for the last spot with five other teams; all within 2 points of each other…it’s not a situation he’s used to, and one he may not be emotionally equipped to handle well. 

Combine the phenomena of losing with the irritation we know besets Shanny when he’s slumping (1 goal his last 13 games), and you’ve got an unappy Big Apple camper.


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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com