Hull: Shanahan is Where He Belongs

Executive VP says Brendan Shanahan belongs in Hockey Hall of Fame

Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 5:13 PM NHL.com

By Brett Hull - Special Contributor

Brett Hull was a teammate of Brendan Shanahan's with the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings, and won a Stanley Cup together with the Red Wings in 2002. Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

When Brendan Shanahan joined us with the St. Louis Blues he was 22 years and had established himself early in his career as a guy who could score about 25 or 30 goals a season. We knew there was more that he could do. He did too, but all he needed was some guidance.

He stopped, looked, listened and became a two-time 50-goal scorer. The fact that he was willing to do that, to watch and listen and learn from other great players, helped make him a Hall of Fame player.

When Brendan Shanahan joined us with the St. Louis Blues he was 22 years and had established himself early in his career as a guy who could score about 25 or 30 goals a season. We knew there was more that he could do. He did too, but all he needed was some guidance.

He stopped, looked, listened and became a two-time 50-goal scorer. The fact that he was willing to do that, to watch and listen and learn from other great players, helped make him a Hall of Fame player.

We became teammates again with the Detroit Red Wings in 2001, six years after he was traded out of St. Louis. He was a different guy at that point, married with kids, but he was the same player. In fact, he was way more respected by that point so he didn't have to fight as much. The game had also changed in a way that the guys who scored 50 or 60 goals became guys who would score 30 or 40.

It didn't affect the way Brendan played.

Scotty Bowman, the coach in Detroit at the time, had him on the penalty kill and the power play. He would put Brendan out on the ice when the opposing team pulled its goalie to create a 6-on-5 late in games.

Brendan was a great player, a well-respected player and a well-liked teammate. He got along with everyone and the way he played made everyone respect him.

It was no surprise to me that he took on a leading role in fostering change in the game during the 2004-05 lockout. To stand up and do what he did, you just have to tip your hat to him.

There are some changes that came out of his meeting of the minds that I, for one, do not agree with, but you're never going to have people agree with everything that's going on in the game anyway. The fact that Brendan took the time to try to make some good out of a bad situation speaks to the type of player he was and person he is.

He used to be the guy who needed some guidance, but as the years went on he became the guy providing the guidance.

He belongs in the Hall of Fame.

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