With 21 years under his belt in the National Hockey League, Brendan Shanahan is said to be eyeing a 22nd season. While he spent the 2008-2009 season with the New Jersey Devils and while the club said that they’d have him back, there’s still no offer on the table for the veteran winger.
As Shanahan looks forward to attending training camp, the critical question of where that training camp will be remains to be answered.
Shanahan’s agent, Rick Curran, wouldn’t say if his client and the New Jersey Devils organization were close to a deal. Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello has been public in saying that the Devils would like to have him back if the price was right, but also noted that any deal with Shanahan would hinge largely on talks with New Jersey’s new coach Jacques Lemaire.
In other words, if Lemaire isn’t interested in getting Shanahan a spot in his line-up, the odds of a deal being done in New Jersey don’t look so good.
But Curran is adamant that his player will be lacing the skates at training camp this year. There will be no waiting around until mid-season like last year. As for any details, Curran was mum. “I have nothing to report at this time,” Curran said. “I’m encouraged to the extent that I know Brendan will be playing this year. That’s all I’m prepared to say.”
If there is no contract from the Devils that suits his client, Curran may be on the run to other teams to get Shanahan signed quickly. While the 40-year-old winger hasn’t become a relic on the ice, he certainly isn’t the player he was five years ago and is more of a locker room presence than an on-ice game-changer. Last year saw Shanahan log a respectable 14 points in 34 games.
The other question in terms of Shanahan signing with the Devils pertains to how well a player like him will fit Lemaire’s system. The Devils look to be returning to their past ways, complete with stifling defensive coverage, so one wonders how well Shanahan will fit the tone on the ice in New Jersey. Lemaire may not feel he’s the right player for the team anymore and may not think Shanahan fits the system.
Regardless, it all comes back to Curran’s insistence that his client will play and that his client will lace the skates at training camp. All that remains to be seen now, I guess, is the colour of the jersey on Shanahan’s back.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.