An Ode to Brendan Shanahan: My Favourite Non-Leaf Retires

PuckBrendan Shanahan holds the NHL record for Gordie Howe hat tricks. He recorded 17 Gordie Howe hat tricks during his hall of fame career, 15 more than Gordie himself. He also holds the distinction of being my favourite player who never donned the Maple Leafs' blue and white.

Admittedly, I was predisposed to liking him. I attended Michael Power High School in Etobicoke, Shanahan's school. Several teachers spoke highly of Shanny, and even his siblings taught there. He must have had a lot of siblings, because his siblings were also teaching at St. Cecilia's primary school, another school I attended. Like Shanahan, I rode the red rocket to Power where he was a legend.

Although I was predisposed to liking him, he made it easy to root for him in a way I've never rooted for a non-Leaf. He was a deadly sniper, scoring 656 goals, and he was a natural born leader, winning three Stanley Cups and an Olympic gold medal. He was also incredibly consistent, scoring 20 or more goals in 19 consecutive years. And, as his Gordie Howe hat tricks attest, he was one tough sonufabitch.

Shanahan announced his retirement today, and I'm going to miss him dearly. Nobody did it better.


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I hate to agree with you but you're 100% correct. A great player and from what I hear, a good guy too.

November 17, 2009 @ 9:24 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I have my next byline: "You're 100% correct." - Argie

November 17, 2009 @ 9:39 PM


LONG LIVE SHANAHAN!!! Would have LOVED for him to come to Toronto and provide some leadership, even if it woul've been for a cup of coffee.
I also am Power Alum and know the legend of the Shanahan Clan from Old Power! What year is your graduating class?

November 17, 2009 @ 9:41 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I'm class of '93.

The last graduating class from the original location.

November 17, 2009 @ 9:44 PM


Wasn't there rumour of a dalliance with my favourite non-Leaf anthem singer, Detroit's Karen Newman?

Seriously though, the weak, last-gasp shootout attempt on Hasek in '98 notwithstanding, he had the golden touch. I loved Neely, and Shanny fell from the same do-it-all-y'self tree. Neat guy.

Out of curoisity, if he'd signed with the Buds this year, who'd then be your favourite non-Leaf?

November 17, 2009 @ 9:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Shanny was cool.... a throwback. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

Who's my current favourite non-Leaf? That's a great question. The only guy playing who seems to be cut from similar cloth is Jerome Iginla, but I don't think he's my new favourite non-Leaf. It's probably Sidney Crosby because I find myself rooting heavily for him and he'll be leading our forces in Vancouver this winter.

November 17, 2009 @ 10:00 PM


I like him too -- especially because of the Power connection. :)

November 19, 2009 @ 8:15 AM

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