Expect Shanny to return

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

Brent Sutter was an on-ice opponent of Brendan Shanahan for 10 seasons.

They were teammates for Team Canada's championship squad at Canada Cup 1991.

Last season, Shanahan was a winger on the New Jersey Devils team coached by Sutter.

Now that Shanahan has announced his retirement as a player, Sutter believes it's a matter of time before he'll resurface in the game.

"He and I had brief conversations last year about where he'd want to go when he stepped aside as a player and what he'd want to do if he stayed in hockey," Sutter recalled yesterday. "I think there's a place for him in the game, whether the management side or the coaches side, and he'd do well."

Shanahan retired Tuesday with 656 goals and 698 assists in 1,524 NHL games in 21 seasons. He's the only player in league history with more than 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes.

"I learned a lot from Shanny last year as a coach," Sutter said. "He knew the game very well. He was a really good leader and really could pick things up in games and knew how to translate it from player to player inside a dressing room.

"When he first came in, he never played a lot. He was in a fourth-line role, as a centre, and then they moved him over to wing. You could tell there was something special. He was a tough kid at a young age. He could handle himself at a young age. Back then, you looked at how a player would handle the toughness because he'd be challenged a lot."

Craig Conroy arrived in St. Louis after Shanahan had been traded to the Hartford Whalers.

"Everyone said what a great teammate he was, but I didn't like seeing him go to Detroit," Conroy said.

"He was a Blues killer, a couple of overtime goals in the playoffs."

Moss shoots for diabetes

Right winger David Moss will donate $100 for every regular-season goal and $200 for each playoff goal this season to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Moss, who has three goals this season, scored 20 times last season and three more in the playoffs.

Feeling Grapes' wrath

During his Coach's Corner segment Saturday night, Don Cherry took Flames forward Fredrik Sjostrom to task for failing to block a first-period shot in the team's 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Sjostrom said he hadn't heard about the chastising from Cherry.

"I'm usually pretty good at blocking shots. It's not something I usually do (not blocking), but maybe he's right," Sjostrom said. "I'm not sure which sequence he's talking about. If that's the case, that wasn't good."

Asked whether he'll try that much harder in the future, Sjostrom said: "I think I always do."

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA

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WHO TO WATCH

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THESE TWO PLAYERS IN TONIGHT'S GAME

DION PHANEUF, DEFENCE

Did he face the wrath of coach Brent Sutter after last game? Nobody's saying. Either way, Phaneuf is coming off a down game against Colorado. He's been better this season but was a minus-2 and had glaring mistakes vs. the Avs. Expect him to bounce back.

PATRICK KANE, LEFT-WING

The nifty third-year pro, who'll turn 21 Saturday, is on a roll. He's collected nine points in a seven-game point streak (3-6-9). In eight career games against the Flames, Kane has scored nine points (3-6-9). He had a goal and two assists in their last meeting.


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