Whenever Brendan Shanahan leaves the NHL Department of Safety, conventional wisdom was that it would be for a general manager or player personnel role.
That job might be with the Calgary Flames.
John Shannon of Sportsnet confirmed that Shanahan was in Calgary on Friday, previously reporting that his meeting was with owner Murray Edwards and CEO Ken King regarding a director of hockey operations gig. Bob McKenzie of TSN reports that no job offer was made to Shanahan at the meeting.
Jay Feaster remains the general manager in Calgary, although an embattled one. The Flames have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons. Adding Shanahan wouldn’t exactly be a vote of confidence; in fact, it smacks of what the Colorado Avalanche did in elevating Joe Sakic up the managerial food chain and minimizing Greg Sherman’s role. (Maybe the common denominator is Ryan O’Reilly.)
Obviously the Flames’ gain is the NHL’s loss, but Shanahan’s innovations and revisions to the Department of Player Safety – from the instructional videos to the disciplinary standards that have helped reduce concussions in the NHL during his two-year tenure – will endure through the staff he’s added, like former NHL defenseman Rob Blake.
That’s assuming he leaves the Flames. And that the NHL doesn’t tinker with what’s been a successful sheriff’s department Shanahan has built.