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Report: Keenan Wants Shanahan Back in St. Louis

September 26, 1996

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Brendan Shanahan wants out of Hartford, and Blues general manager coach Mike Keenan apparently would like to have him back in St. Louis.

Shanahan has said publicly that he has no interest in playing again for Keenan. But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that Keenan has spoken to Hartford Whalers general manager Jim Rutherford about him several times over the last two weeks.

Shanahan resigned Monday as the Whalers’ captain, though he’s still in camp with Hartford. He is a two-time 50-goal scorer who spent four seasons with St. Louis and was a fan favorite.

The Blues traded Shanahan to Hartford prior to last season for defenseman Chris Pronger.

Sources told the Post-Dispatch that the talks haven’t been productive. Rutherford is said to be holding out for a monster deal for Shanahan.

But the Whalers, facing heavy financial losses, want to cut Shanahan’s $3.5 million annual salary from their payroll and replace the youth and potential they gave up to acquire him. Pronger is just 21. Shanahan is 27.

Tampering rules bar Keenan from specifically discussing Shanahan. On Wednesday, he said he was ``investigating the four big players who are out there.″

That would be Phoenix’s Jeremy Roenick and Chicago’s Alexei Zhamnov, unrestricted free agents who were traded for each other in the offseason, along with Detroit’s Keith Primeau and Shanahan, both of whom have asked for trades.

The New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals also are interested in Shanahan.

If the Blues could get Shanahan, the question would remain whether Shanahan would want to play for Keenan.

For his part, Keenan has maintained that he had nothing against Shanahan personally.

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