Less Tape Meant More for Shanahan

Saturday, 11.9.2013 / 4:37 PM CT / St Louis Blues - Features
By Dan Rosen  - NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Less Tape Meant More for Shanahan
Brett Hull\'s father, Bobby, removed excess tape from Brendan Shanahan\'s stick, which he says might have led to Shanahan\'s scoring success.

As Brett Hull was building his Hall of Fame resume with the St. Louis Blues, his father, Bobby Hull, would spend his time hanging around the team, going into places most people wouldn't dare.

Bobby would be in the dressing room before, during and after games. He'd be in the runway leading to the dressing room as the final buzzer sounded. And, as fate would have it for Brendan Shanahan, Bobby would hang around by the players' sticks, admiring them and, in Shanahan's case, altering them.

"Brendan's goal scoring, you have to give all the credit to my dad," Brett Hull told NHL.com.

Shortly before Christmas in 1991, Shanahan, who had been with the Blues for less than two months at that point, arrived for practice with only a few minutes to spare. He hurriedly strapped on his equipment and grabbed his sticks. He didn't have time to examine them before darting out onto the ice to avoid being late.

It wasn't until he had taken a few shots that Shanahan realized someone removed all the tape from the knob of his stick and replaced it with a smaller amount. He was angry, but only for a few seconds.

"I was like, 'Who messed with my sticks?'" Shanahan told NHL.com. "The answer was, 'Bobby Hull did.' I was like, 'Oh, OK.'"

Shanahan, mind you, used to have enough tape forming the knob of his stick to nearly equal the width of a tennis ball. Bobby and Brett Hull couldn't believe it. It was too much tape, they thought. It was limiting Shanahan's mobility in his wrists.

A player with a normal amount of tape can hold the knob with the palm of his hand, giving him the ability to twist his wrist to adjust to passes that aren't perfect. The knob on Shanahan's stick was so big he couldn't wrap his hand around it. He had to jam his hand into the bottom of it like a goalie, reducing the amount of mobility he had and limiting his opportunity to adjust to passes in time so he could fire one-timers.

Shanahan started using a bigger knob when he was a kid because his gloves were too stiff and the extra tape on the end made picking up his stick easier. When he got to the New Jersey Devils, he saw that Pat Verbeek also used a big knob on his stick, so Shanahan figured he would stick with it.

But the knob kept growing game after game, season after season. It was out of control.

"It was just a big knob. Like a goalie wouldn't use it that big," Hull said. "My dad cut his knobs off and had put a proper size knob at the end of his stick. Brendan didn't have time to change it back the way he wanted it. He went out in practice with it and all of a sudden he said, 'Boy, this feels really good.'"

Brett had been telling Shanahan since he got to St. Louis that he should cut down on the knob.

"He just wouldn't listen to me," Brett recalled.

He listened to Bobby.

"What happened is he became a 50-goal scorer after that," Brett said.

Shanahan scored 33 goals his first season with the Blues, 51 in his second and a career-high 52 in his third. He scored 656 goals in a 22-year career and is going into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.

Maybe he'll mention Bobby Hull in his speech.

"I remember coming off the ice once, and Bobby was right by the door. It was after I scored a couple of goals with the new way of taping my stick," Shanahan said. "In his raspy voice he's like, 'What did I tell ya? What did I tell ya?'"

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 76 36 35 25 71
A. Steen 73 24 38 6 62
J. Schwartz 69 24 32 12 56
D. Backes 75 25 29 6 54
T. Oshie 67 19 33 13 52
P. Stastny 68 14 29 3 43
A. Pietrangelo 76 6 36 -6 42
J. Lehtera 69 11 29 16 40
K. Shattenkirk 51 8 32 15 40
P. Berglund 71 9 13 -7 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 24 14 3 .919 2.20
J. Allen 19 6 4 .906 2.45

 
TICKETS
Single Game Tickets
2015-16 Ticket Plans
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
Renew Your Season Tickets
NHL Ticket Exchange
View From Your Seat

TEAM
Roster
In the System
Coaches
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Alaska Aces

SCHEDULE
Regular Season
Practice Schedule
Promotions Schedule
Schedule Downloads

STATS
Player Stats
League Standings

NEWS
News
Features
Blues Overtime Blog

VIDEO
Video Channels
Game Highlights

GameDay

SOCIAL
Find a Player
Facebook
Twitter
Mobile App
E-mail Subscriptions

FANS
Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Photo Galleries
License Plates

COMMUNITY
Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

SHOP
Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

PRIVACY POLICY | ADCHOICES | TERMS OF USE | EMPLOYMENT & INTERNSHIPS | GUEST EXPERIENCE SURVEY | CONTACT US