The Top 3 Outrageous Stories About the Toronto Maple Leafs President

Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Toronto Maple Leafs
Brendan Shanahan #19 of the St. Louis Blues skates against Doug Gilmour #93 of the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 18, 1995, at Maple Leaf Gardens (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images) /

The Second Most Outrageous Story

Brendan Shanahan has been traded twice in his career. He was already a bonafide star when it happened the first time in the summer of 1995. One year earlier, he inked a $15.4 million, five-year deal with the St. Louis Blues, which was retroactive to the 1993-94 season.

When the coach and general manager, Mike Keenan, announced that he had moved the 26-year-old stud winger, Blues fans were up in arms. They were shipping out one of the best players in hockey, a man who had back-to-back seasons in St. Louis where he scored more than 50 goals (51 in 1993 and 52 in 1994).

The return for Keenan and the Blues was an upcoming defenseman, a 20-year-old Chris Pronger. It was incredibly risky at the time and had many in the Gateway City furious with Keenan. It happened to turn out well thanks to Pronger developing into an outstanding player, but at the time, Blues fans thought they were duped by the Hartford Whalers.

The fanbase wasn’t wrong to be unhappy. In order for St. Louis to sign Shanahan as a restricted free agent, they had to give up some sort of compensation. The Devils asked for the Blues’ captain, Scott Stevens, a clear overreach. Unfortunately for the Blues, an arbitration judge sided with the Devils and had him sent to New Jersey. The fans watched as the Captain and now their best player both left town too soon.

What makes the tale outrageous is the cast of characters involved in shuffling Shanahan between organizations. In 2007, Stevens was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2015, Pronger was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Shanahan’s second and only other trade in his career was one he was requesting at the time. It saw him shipped with his teammate Brian Glynn by the Whalers to the Detroit Red Wings for Keith Primeau and Paul Coffey. Once again, it took a Hall of Fame player to complete a transaction for Shanahan. Coffey was inducted in 2004. Primeau never made the Hockey Hall of Fame, but he is in the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame.

In each of the three exchanges for Shanahan, he was swapped for a future Hall of Famer. He, himself was inducted into the Hall in 2013 for his remarkable career as a player.