Friday, December 23, 2005

HAPPINESS OF A PRETTY PROUD GUY: BRENADAN SHANAHAN


What makes Brenadan Shanahan to flash a 3000 watt smile? These days he is smiling as wide as the compliments he is receiving about the on-ice product this season in the NHL. Undoubtedly, the Detroit Red Wings winger is endeavoring to record another solid season, with 20 goals and 17 assists in his first 35 games and his team is sitting atop the Western Conference with a 23-9-3 mark, five points clear of their closest pursuer, but nothing can compare the compliments he receives. Shanahan was actively involved in revamping the NHL game as it came out of the lockout, pushing it towards momentum and creativity and away from the slow, skeptical exercise it had become on all too many occasions. Shanahan gave the sport a makeover, providing it with a kind of sexiness that would appeal even to the most casual of fans. During the refurbishment, Shanahan was one of the most voiced proponents of opening the game up. Today’s NHL is a product that is close to his ideal that he envisioned during the darkest days of the NHL lockout that shut the game down for close to a year. For the most part, he even ignored the complaints and condemnations of the new-look NHL before it even got off the ground. A power forward throughout his career, Shanahan is among a vocal minority that believes the new anti-obstruction rules have removed part of the down-low battles that give this sport its character. This new character will supposedly let physical play creep back into the game as players and referees find a common ground.

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