Shanahan's Mission: Balance Intensity, Safety

Shanahan's Mission: Balance Intensity, Safety

Whenever there was trouble on the ice during Brendan Shanahan's playing days, he usually was in the first wave that answered the call.

During his 20-year NHL career, he had 2,489 penalty minutes, all well-deserved. He had 17 Gordie Howe hat tricks — a goal, assist and fight in the same game — 15 more than Howe actually had.

Shanahan had a reputation as a player who could aggressively and effectively defend himself, and he's bringing that same level of passion to defending himself as an NHL executive.

"This is such a highly scrutinized and criticized department, even before you make decision one. The only thing you can do is do it with every ounce of integrity that you have," Shanahan said Monday in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY Sports. "Otherwise there is no way for you to rest your head on the pillow at night."

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