Friday, September 15, 2017

Brendan Shanahan Dual Jersey Card

I've been holding onto this card then losing track of it then waiting for the appropriate time to talk about it since 2010:
That's former head of the Department Of Player Safety and current Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan, sporting the New York Rangers' classic blue (now-home) uniform, on card #HS-BS from Upper Deck's 2008-09 Trilogy set and Honorary Swatches sub-set.

After predicting the Rangers would finish 5th in the Metropolitan Division but still make the playoffs as the Second Eastern Wild Card team, I figured now would be as good a time as any to feature the Hockey Hall Of Famer.

I've hinted at it in the past, but in my view, Shanahan was an All-Star, but not a Hall Of Famer. He reached the 50-goal plateau twice, both times before the Clutch-And-Grab Dead Puck Era, the second being his lone 100-point season; in both instances, he played on a line with Brett Hull, who had more goals than he did. He failed to score 30 goals eight times in a 21-season career (notwithstanding lockout-shortened seasons), and never won a scoring title of any kind; as a matter of fact, he only finished in the top-5 for goals once, finishing fifth in 1993-94 with 52, his career-high. He only twice finished in the top-10 for points, finishing eighth in 1993-94 (with 102) and tenth in 1996-97 (with 88), yet stands 26th in career points (with 1354) because he played seemingly forever; having suited up for 1524 games, he is not a point-per-game player despite playing eight seasons before the New Jersey Devils made it so that the entire league started playing anti-hockey.

And his three Stanley Cups came before the salary cap, when the Detroit Red Wings spent all the money in the world to ice the likes of Shanahan, Hull and Luc Robitaille in bit roles for the chance of buying themselves at least a Conference Finals finish every season between 1995 and 2005. Prior to that, his Devils, St. Louis Blues and Hartford Whalers never amounted to much, and later in his career, it was more of the same with the Rangers and his second stint in Jersey.

That being said, he's the only NHLer with career stats that include over 600 goals and 2000 penalty minutes, and he has had a few noteworthy postseasons, such as the Cup-winning 1996-97 and 2001-02 Wings teams, where he finished second in points both times, first behind Sergei Fedorov, then tied with Fedorov behind Steve Yzerman.

Again, "star player" material, just not any performances for the ages.

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