Brendan Shanahan now works for the NHL. He used to do the opposite. Sure, he was a player, but he was in vehement opposition – as a union member of the NHLPA – to the NHL in every strike, lockout, and Battle for Mordor that came in his way.
That’s the funny thing about hockey, or about all branding. Kleenex isn’t tissue. The NHL isn’t hockey. It’s just the corporation that represents it, or symbolizes it.
But, the above video by tvo, featuring Brendan Shanahan and hockey writer Bruce Dowbiggin in 1994, is one of the funnier and more interesting pieces you might find during the current set of vitriolic labour negotiations that are threatening to cancel the 2013 NHL season.
*This video was first re-published today by Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports and Puck Daddy…
In the video, set two lockouts ago (2012, 2004/05, 1994/95), Shanahan is a young whipper snapper coming up the grapevine with the St. Louis blues. He’s an established star, valued at $3 million a season, and he’s also about to be shipped off to the Hartford Whalers for an uninspiring few months. (*He doesn’t know this yet.)
That said, it’s funny how the years have changed and the style has changed (*check out Shanny’s Love, Sex and Other Drugs-era button-up sweater), but the issues largely remain the same.
And, the view from the players has remained the same, too.
-As a player, Shanahan didn’t ask for a raise, but was offered one by owners of the St. Louis Blues (he says he first came in at $1 million a year).
-Shanahan says he’s not immune to the Canadian fans’ notion that NHL players are getting paid to play a children’s game.
-Shanahan admits he laughs when his friends say he should never get another raise.
-Shanahan’s response to people questioning why there are million-dollar hockey player?
“What about the billion-dollar owners?”
Retro is beautiful.