It's official: Shanahan now a Ranger
a press release announcing the signing and are holding a conference call at 2:00 PM today as well. So ends another era in Detroit, less than a week after the Yzerman Era ended. Shanahan came to Detroit in at the start of the '96-'97 season and scored 46 goals for the Wings through 79 games. He is generally seen as the final piece of the Stanley Cup puzzle for the team and has become one of the most popular players in the city over time. Ansar Khan reminds us of the scene in the lockerroom after the Wings were eliminated by Calgary in 2004 where Shanahan was in tears because he was afraid that he would be taking off the Winged Wheel for the last time. And now he's gone, despite the Wings desperately trying to bring him back by offering more than they could afford in a two-year deal at $4 million in the first year. Since Shanahan went on the market last week, there had been many conflicting reports on where he was headed. Some thought he was just testing the market as a staunch union man or for kicks, to see what he would get, but that he always intended to sign with the Wings. Others said he was looking to leave the Wings because of Mike Babcock or because he wanted more money than the Wings were willing or able to offer him. It was easy to believe Babcock and Shanahan had clashed due to the coach's apparent distaste for the older players on the team but I remembered Shanny's resurgence this past season and thought perhaps that Babcock made an exception with him. Therefore, I allowed myself to believe reports such as a blog post by Ansar Khan, which came late last night, that assured Wings fans that Shanahan wasn't going anywhere (Khan has since taken the post down - a big no-no in the blogging community, Ansar). We even had it straight from The Captain. Well, the Wings have lost two of their greatest leaders in just a few days. I have no idea what Holland can, or will, do to fill in the holes. The leadership shoes will have to be filled by players such as Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk with the help of Nick Lidstrom, Kris Draper and the rest of the remaining veterans. The hole left in the offense by Shanahan's departure will be harder to fill (remember, he scored 41 goals last year). Anson Carter, Michael Peca and Scott Gomez are names already being thrown around. None of them will really replace Shanahan, even if they produce 20-30 goals a year. Ken Holland is not to blame for this. The Wings really couldn't afford to give Shanahan such a raise and the real shame here is that he wouldn't take a pay cut to help the team stay competitive. I will not be angry at Brendan for leaving. He's done too much for the team to deserve that. But I am very disappointed in him. We wanted change this off-season and we're getting it, folks. It hurts, doesn't it? The Wings' 2002 Playoff CD had a variation of Shanny's Irish Jig that incluced Ken Daniels and Ken Kal calling a number of Shanahan goals from that season. I don't know about you guys but I can picture a number of the goals and it's hard to believe that we'll never again hear the Jig played for a Shanahan goal at JLA. Click here to listen to it and remember (.wma, 1.2 MB). Goodbye, Brendan. Thanks for the memories. I hope you find what you're looking for in New York.