The New York Rangers have yet to sign forward Brendan Shanahan, owner of 650 goals and 690 assists. With many Rangers vets headed out of the country (Jagr, Straka) or to other teams (Tyutin, Avery), the Rangers would do well to sign the 21-season pro.
In his first season with the Rangers, Shanahan showed the Garden faithful that he could still play, scoring two goals in his first home game with the team, and 62 points overall in 67 games.
Although his 2007-08 campaign was less successful (46 points). he contributed in other ways—perhaps most importantly through his leadership on and off the ice.
Shanahan was the vocal leader of the team. Jagr may have been the captain, but was at times a reluctant one, apprehensive of using his English with the media, or preferring to maintain his quiet disposition in the locker room.
Shanahan used his experience and know-how to help propel the Rangers into the playoffs, even when he was off the ice. He is one of the few veterans on the Rangers to have won the Stanley Cup multiple times.
The Rangers have done well to bring in new talent this offseason—notably, Wade Redden, Markus Naslund, and Nikolai Zherdev—but Shanahan could be the face of the New York Rangers, and an ambassador to the fans and the media.
True, Shanahan is in the latter half his career, and this year may be his last stand.
But the former King Clancy Trophy winner knows that at 40 years old, he can still help a contending Rangers team over the edge with his grit and knack for the net.
Let's hope the Rangers' front office knows the same.