NHL Wiki
Brendan Shanahan
Born January 23, 1969 (1969-01-23) (age 53)
Mimico, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 225 lb (102 kg; 16 st 1 lb)
Position Left wing
Shoots Right
Played for New Jersey Devils
St. Louis Blues
Hartford Whalers
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 1987
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 1987–2009
Hall of Fame, 2013

Brendan Shanahan (born Brendan Frederick Shanahan on January 23, 1969) is the National Hockey League's Vice President of Hockey and Business Development and Director of Player Safety.

Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils second overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Brendan played with the St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils. While playing with the Red Wings, he won three Stanley Cup championships.

With his physical play and goal scoring ability, Brendan scored 656 goals in his NHL career spanning over 1,500 NHL games and, at the time of his retirement, was the leader among active NHL players for goals scored. He is the only player in NHL history with over 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes.

Competing for Team Canada internationally, Brendan won a gold medal at the 1994 World Championships, 2002 Winter Olympics, and a 1991 Canada Cup championship. Having won what are considered the three most prominent team titles in ice hockey, an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship and a Stanley Cup, he is a member of the elite Triple Gold Club.

Brendan currently works in the NHL office as the league's vice president of hockey and business operations. On July 9, 2013, he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Playing Career[]

New Jersey Devils (1988-1991)[]

Brendan was drafted by the New Jersey Devils second overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft after Pierre Turgeon. Expectations for him were high after a stellar career with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with whom his number 19 has been retired.

In his rookie season with the Devils, in 1987–88, Brendan scored 26 points in 65 games as an 18-year-old. The following season, in 1988–89, he improved to 22 goals and 50 points.

In his third NHL season, Brendan emerged as a point-per-game producer with 72 points in 73 games and a top scorer with the Devils. His 30 goals finished tied for second in team goal-scoring behind John MacLean.

In his fourth and final year of his initial stint with the Devils in 1990–91, Brendan scored 29 goals and 66 points. At the age of 22, he was already an established scorer in the NHL. He had also played well in the Devils' playoff runs.

St. Louis Blues (1991-1995)[]

Becoming a free agent following the 1990–91 season, Brendan was signed by the St. Louis Blues on July 25, 1991. According to the collective bargaining agreement, he was a restricted free-agent, and therefore, the Devils were due compensation.

Ordinarily, this compensation would be in the form of draft picks, but the Blues already owed four first-round draft picks to the Washington Capitals for signing defenceman Scott Stevens the previous year.

The Blues made an offer for compensation that consisted of Curtis Joseph, Rod Brind'Amour and two draft picks even further down the road. However, the Devils were only interested in Scott Stevens. An arbitrator eventually decided that Stevens was to be the compensation, so Brendan joined the Blues in exchange for Scott Stevens.

While Brendan's first season for the Blues yielded similar statistics to his seasons with the Devils, he would reach another level in 1992–93 with 51 goals and 94 points in 71 games. He finished second in team goal-scoring to Brett Hull and third in team point-scoring overall.

Continuing at that pace the next season, in 1993–94, he recorded personal bests of 52 goals, 50 assists and 102 points. In addition to leading the Blues in points, he was named to the 1994 NHL All-Star Game at mid-season and the NHL First All-Star Team at the end of the year.

During the 1994–95 NHL lockout, Brendan played 3 games for Düsseldorf EG of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, managing to score 5 goals and tally 3 assists in his short stay overseas.

When the NHL started back up, Brendan continued to play well for the Blues, recording 41 points in the lockout-shortened season. In the playoffs, he led the team in scoring with 9 points in 5 games.

Hartford Whalers (1995-1996)[]

On July 27, 1995 (after three seasons with the Blues), Brendan was traded to the Hartford Whalers for defenseman Chris Pronger where he succeeded Pat Verbeek as the team captain.

In his only full season for Hartford, Brendan scored a team-high 44 goals and 78 points. For his efforts, he was selected to the 1996 NHL All-Star Game. However, with the uncertainty of the franchise, Brendan asked for a trade.

On October 9, 1996, just 2 games into the 1996–97 season, he was traded along with Brian Glynn to the Detroit Red Wings for forward Keith Primeau, defenseman Paul Coffey and a first-round draft pick.

Detroit Red Wings (1995-2006)[]

Brendan finished off the season with his usual productivity, scoring a total of 47 goals for the season, and was named to the 1997 NHL All-Star Game.

In the playoffs, Brendan contributed 9 goals and 8 assists, helping the Red Wings to their first Stanley Cup since 1955. They repeated as Cup champions the next year, despite an off-season for him in which he managed just 57 points.

The following season, in 1998–99 NHL season, Brendan continued at that pace with 58 points, but was still invited to another All-Star Game. Going into the playoffs as back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, the Red Wings were eliminated by the rival Colorado Avalanche.

In 1999–2000, Brendan scored 41 goals, indicating a return to his usual form. After the season, he was named to the First All-Star Team for the second time in his career. He put up 76 points in the 2000–01 NHL season although Detroit was upset in the first round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Kings.

The 2001–02 season was a banner one for both Brendan and the Red Wings. Having picked up future Hall-of-Famers Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and Dominik Hasek in the off-season, the team was primed to win its third Cup since 1997.

They cruised to victory and Brendan continued to play a big role in their success, scoring 37 goals during the regular season and 19 points in their victorious Stanley Cup run. He also picked up an Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City with Team Canada and was named to the Second NHL All-Star Team.

The season was also of particular statistical significance for Brendan as shortly preceding his Olympic gold medal victory, he recorded his 1000th point in the NHL with two goals against Marty Turco in a 4–2 victory over the Dallas Stars on January 12, 2002.

Then late in the season, Brendan also reached the 500-goal mark, scoring the game-winner against Patrick Roy in a 2–0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on March 23, 2002. The win also marked a team accomplishment as it clinched a President's Trophy as the top ranked regular-season team.

In the season following their third Stanley Cup, Brendan scored 30 goals and 68 points and won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy at the end of the year for his humanitarian efforts. In the following season, however, his production dipped to 25 goals and 53 points, his lowest totals in fifteen years.

After a one-year absence due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Brendan showed yet another return to form in the 2005–06 NHL season, tallying an impressive 40 goals and 81 points, good for third among Red Wings in scoring.

New York Rangers[]

Brendan became a free agent following the 2005–06 season and signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the New York Rangers.

After completing a successful nine-year stay in Detroit, Brendan expressed a desire to move on in his NHL career, stating "It really came down to an instinct I had. Detroit has a great past and a great future ahead of them as well, but I guess I just felt that maybe I was identified with the past a little bit more than the future."

Brendan began his Rangers' career by scoring his 599th and 600th career goals against Olaf Kölzig on October 5, 2006, in a 5–3 season opening win against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. With assists coming from Petr Průcha on both goals, he became just the 15th player in NHL history to reach the 600-goal mark.

Shortly thereafter, on November 14, 2006, Brendan received the inaugural Mark Messier Leadership Award, an award given monthly to a player selected by Mark Messier who best exemplifies leadership skills on and off the ice. Then, selected to his eighth All-Star Game, he was named captain of the Eastern Conference for the 2007 All-Star Game.

On February 1, 2007, Brendan made headlines after expressing frustration in a press conference about his perception that NHL referees are biased against team captain Jaromír Jágr.

Later in the month, Brendan was involved in a severe on-ice collision with Philadelphia Flyers forward and former Red Wings teammate Mike Knuble in a game on February 17, 2007.

Brendan and Knuble caught each other skating in opposite directions as Brendan was headed for the bench, at which point he hit his head on the ice and was left unconscious for ten minutes. He was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital where he was released the next day.

After missing 15 games, Brendan returned to the lineup in time for the playoffs where the Rangers were defeated by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round. He completed his first season with the Rangers fourth in team scoring with 62 points in 67 games as an alternate captain to Jagr.

After re-signing to another one-year contract with the Rangers, Brendan struggled to produce offensively as his points total dipped to just 46 points in 2007–08, his lowest total since his rookie season in 1987–88.

With his contract expiring in the off-season, Brendan was not tended an offer by the Rangers, believed to be a result of the Rangers' pursuit of free agent Mats Sundin.

Returning to the New Jersey Devils (2009)[]

Unable to come to terms with the Rangers, Brendan sat out the first half of the 2008–09 season. Then, on January 10, 2009, it was announced that he agreed to join the New Jersey Devils for his second stint with the team.

Four days later, on January 14, 2009, the terms of the contract were finalized and Brendan signed a one-year, $800,000 pro-rated contract. His time between stints with the Devils was 17 years, 294 days, the longest time between stints with one team in NHL history.

Playing in his first game back with the Devils since the 1990–91 season, Brendan scored the first goal of the game against the Nashville Predators on a 5 on 3 power play by toe dragging the puck around the opposition player and then shooting it on the pad side on January 19, 2009 in a 3–1 win.

On August 5, 2009, Brendan agreed to a one-year deal with the Devils returning for a 22nd season to play during the 2009–10 season. This would have been Brendan's 6th season as a New Jersey Devil.

However, on October 1, 2009, the Devils and Brendan parted ways with Brendan saying "When I signed this past summer, Lou Lamoriello, Jacques Lemaire, and I agreed that if we were unable to find a suitable fit in which I would be able to compete and contribute at the level I expect from myself, then I would simply step aside."

Brendan had played just four preseason games of the 2009–10 season. He scored the Devils' last preseason goal that year, on one of his last NHL shifts.


On November 17, 2009, Brendan officially announced his retirement after 21 years in the NHL.

Brendan said, "I would like to thank my family and all of the friends who have helped me achieve and maintain my childhood dream of playing in the National Hockey League", he said in a news release. "I am enormously grateful to all of my coaches and teammates I've had the privilege of learning from and playing along side of, throughout my career. While I always dreamed of playing in the NHL, I can't honestly say that I would have ever imagined that I'd be this fortunate and blessed. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has helped me fulfill this dream."

League Position[]

In December of 2009, Brendan accepted a position to become the NHL's Vice President of Hockey and Business Development.

"In a broad sense, I think obviously, I am going to be another voice in the hockey ops, but at the same time people like John Collins and Gary and Bill are going to allow me and teach me the business of hockey," he told NHL.com. "What I was excited about in their offer to bring me on board is that it was wide open for me. There was not going to be any room with a closed door and I would be given an opportunity to see and learn. As time goes by there will be some days where my role is more hockey specific and some days where my role is more business or marketing specific."

On June 1, 2011, Brendan succeeded Colin Campbell as the NHL's chief player disciplinarian. In his very first preseason as the director of player discipline, he delivered multiple suspensions to players for illegal hits.

Each ruling is accompanied by a video in which Brendan offers his view of the offending play and how it (in his mind) did or did not constitute a breach of NHL regulations.

The media has since coined the term "shanaban", a play on Brendan's last name and the word "ban" to refer to the suspensions he has handed out.


During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Brendan was the mastermind of what was dubbed "The Shanahan Summit" which was a two-day conference in Toronto.

It gathered players, coaches, and other influential voices to discuss improvements to the flow and tempo of the game. Ten recommendations were presented to the League and Players Association.

According to The Hockey News, Brendan holds an unofficial NHL record for most modern day career Gordie Howe hat tricks with 17.

However, not all teams have kept records of this feat, and it is even believed that Gordie Howe himself only officially had two. According to a Yahoo! Sports article, if he had to choose, Brendan would choose to go into the Hall of Fame as a Detroit Red Wing.

Career Statistics[]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1985–86 London Knights OHL 59 28 34 62 70 5 5 5 10 5
1986–87 London Knights OHL 56 39 53 92 128
1987–88 New Jersey Devils NHL 65 7 19 26 131 12 2 1 3 44
1988–89 New Jersey Devils NHL 68 22 28 50 115
1989–90 New Jersey Devils NHL 73 30 42 72 137 6 3 3 6 20
1990–91 New Jersey Devils NHL 75 29 37 66 141 7 3 5 8 12
1991–92 St. Louis Blues NHL 80 33 36 69 171 6 2 3 5 14
1992–93 St. Louis Blues NHL 71 51 43 94 174 11 4 3 7 18
1993–94 St. Louis Blues NHL 81 52 50 102 211 4 2 5 7 4
1994–95 Düsseldorfer EG DEL 3 5 3 8 4
1994–95 St. Louis Blues NHL 45 20 21 41 136 5 4 5 9 14
1995–96 Hartford Whalers NHL 74 44 34 78 125
1996–97 Hartford Whalers NHL 2 1 0 1 0
1996–97 Detroit Red Wings NHL 79 46 41 87 131 20 9 8 17 43
1997–98 Detroit Red Wings NHL 75 28 29 57 154 20 5 4 9 22
1998–99 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 31 27 58 123 10 3 7 10 6
1999–00 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 41 37 78 105 9 3 2 5 10
2000–01 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 31 45 76 81 2 2 2 4 0
2001–02 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 37 38 75 118 23 8 11 19 20
2002–03 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 30 38 68 103 4 1 1 2 4
2003–04 Detroit Red Wings NHL 82 25 28 53 117 12 1 5 6 20
2005–06 Detroit Red Wings NHL 82 40 41 81 105 6 1 1 2 6
2006–07 New York Rangers NHL 67 29 33 62 47 10 5 2 7 12
2007–08 New York Rangers NHL 73 23 23 46 35 10 1 4 5 8
2008–09 New Jersey Devils NHL 34 6 8 14 29 7 1 2 3 2
NHL totals 1524 656 698 1354 2489 184 60 74 134 280

Awards & Achievements[]

  • Three time Stanley Cup Champion: 1997, 1998, 2002
  • Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2007 (captain).
  • Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1994 and 2000.
  • Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2002.
  • Awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2003.
  • Won the Primus Challenge Bowl with World-Stars team in 2004.
  • Led NHL in short-handed goals in 1994.
  • Led NHL in powerplay goals in 1997.
  • 2nd most goals by a left winger: 656
  • 2nd most consecutive 20 goal seasons: 19
  • Only player with over 600 goals and 2,000 PIM
  • Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

International Play[]

Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Competitor for Canada Canada
Olympic Games
Gold 2002 Salt Lake City Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 1994 Italy Ice hockey
Canada Cup
Gold 1991 Canada Cup Ice hockey
Silver 1996 World Cup of Hockey Ice hockey

Brendan has played for Canada in the:

  • 1987 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships (Disqualified)
  • 1991 Canada Cup (Gold Medal)
  • 1994 IIHF World Championships (Gold Medal)
  • 1996 World Cup of Hockey (Silver Medal)
  • 1998 Winter Olympics (4th place)
  • 2002 Winter Olympics (Gold Medal)
  • 2006 IIHF World Championships

International statistics

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1987 Canada WJC 6 3 3 6 -
1991 Canada CC 8 2 0 2 6
1994 Canada WC 6 4 3 7 30
1996 Canada WCH 7 3 4 7 8
1998 Canada Oly. 6 2 0 2 0
2002 Canada Oly. 6 0 1 1 0
2006 Canada WC 8 3 1 4 10
Senior int'l totals 41 14 9 23 54

Personal Life[]

Brendan is the son of Irish parents, Rosaleen and Donal. He has three brothers, Danny, Brian and Shaun. Brendan's cousin is the wife of Irish comedian, Neil Delamere. He also has a cousin named John who is currently the superintendent of Toronto Catholic District School Board representing St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School in East Toronto.

Brendan attended St. Leo's Catholic School and also excelled in lacrosse. His family attended St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church (in Mimico). Brendan briefly attended catholic central high school in London, Ontario, where he graduated.

Brendan also attended Michael Power/St. Joseph High School, where he played on the hockey team and won an OFSAA gold medal in 1985.

On July 4, 1998, Brendan married his wife Catherine (who is the ex-wife of his former teammate Craig Janney. They have three children. On May 17, 2002, he became a citizen of the United States. He resides in New York City during the on-season.

Brendan has also had small roles in a few films. He appeared in a generic role in the Jim Carrey film "Me, Myself & Irene."