For Brendan Shanahan, it's down to New York or bust

Brendan Shanahan has spent the last two seasons with the New York Rangers. If he comes back to play in the National Hockey League, it'll likely only be with the Blueshirts.

That is if Glen Sather decides to plug him into an already overhauled lineup that will feature newcomers Markus Naslund, Nikolai Zherdev and promising kids Nigel Dawes, Ryan Callahan and possibly Penguin-killer Lauri Korpikoski (one goal in one playoff game).

On July 1, Larry Brooks put it out there that Shanny's first club, the New Jersey Devils were interested in bringing the 39-year old back, but nothing ever materialized and it's unsure how long general manager Lou Lamoriello would wait on a decision from a guy whose production might drop for a third straight season.

The Daily News' John Dellapina spoke with Shanahan and he's pretty much hell bent on staying in New York City to finish his career.

"I haven't spoken directly with any other teams," Shanahan said. "But the ones that have contacted my agent have all been told the same thing: ‘My focus remains on working something out with New York and we're still talking with Glen Sather.'"

... But Rangers GM Glen Sather has refused to close the door on a Shanahan return. And Shanahan remains determined to play a third season with the Rangers - even if it means taking a dramatic pay cut from the $5 million he made last season to approximately $1 million.

Shanahan has enrolled his three young children in a Manhattan private school. And he and his wife Catherine have determined that, no matter what, the family will live in the city this year.

Time is running out for Shanahan to work out some sort of deal with either the Rangers or any other team possibly interested. The fact that Shanny would likely take a major pay cut surely increases his opportunity to sign and play in 2008-09. The only question is where.

Does Glen Sather want the veteran leadership that the three-time Stanley Cup champion provides or is he ready to move with on the likes of Naslund, Scott Gomez, and Chris Drury?

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