Rangers Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Friday, February 2nd, 2007 at 12:28 am and is filed under Hockey, Rangers Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

If Brendan Shanahan looks happy here, well, he’s not. Once again, the 38-year-old first-year Ranger has taken the team by the reigns and shown why he is one of the best leaders in the game today. John Dellapina of the New York Daily News states in jest that perhaps Mark Messier will let Shanny take down his retired #11 from the Garden rafters and wear it for the rest of his Rangers career. Says the AP, "Brendan Shanahan isn’t the captain of the New York Rangers, he’s just the guy who sticks up for him."

After Wednesday night’s critical 2-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Shanahan unleashed his venom on the officiating, stating that he felt the refs had been prejudiced against Rangers superstar and captain Jaromir Jagr all season long. "Guys hit him late, guys hit him high, guys hook his hands," said Shanny. "He doesn’t complain. He just goes out and plays and plays and plays. The referees just have a different set of rules about the way people get to play against him."

Shanahan’s most controversial remarks came when he compared the present treatment of Jagr to the prejudice Slava Fetisov faced when he left Russia to join the Devils in 1989-90. Shanahan was a teammate of Fetisov’s on that Devils’ team, and witnessed the racial bias first hand. Though he did not pointedly state he felt officials discriminated against Jagr due to his nationality, he seemed to imply as much by comparing him to Fetisov. Jagr, like many of his Rangers teammates, is a native of the Czech Republic.

While Larry Brooks of the New York Post expects Shanahan to be heavily fined for questioning the league’s integrity, no action has been handed down as of yet. On the contrary, Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations responded to Shanahan’s tirade thoughtfully, stating that "criticism isn’t something we run from." That most likely comes as news to the countless coaches and players who have been fined by the NHL for criticizing officials. Shanahan is likely afforded a longer leash by the league, which is indebted to him for his role in establishing the league’s Competition Committee, and respect him as a great ambasador for the game.

Is Burnside next?

One thing is certain, Shanahan’s comments have not gone unnoticed. In addition to Murphy’s official response, ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside opines that Shanahan’s "rant" was a product of frustration, not reality. Citing the All-Star’s extended slump and recent lack of production, Burnside states: "The Rangers, like Shanahan, seem to be treading water. Not a playoff team. Not a team in decline. A team, in some ways, going nowhere, like many of the Eastern Conference’s swollen, unappealing middle class." Watch out, Burnside, you won’t like him when he’s angry. Just ask Jarome Iginla (see photo).

UPDATE: It’s official. Shanahan won’t be fined.

Comments are closed.

  • Press Harbor