Brendan Shanahan will receive some additional Hall of Fame help in the NHL Player Safety Department. According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, former Rangers defenseman Brian Leech will replace Rob Blake as a member of Shanahan’s team. Blake left the league’s front office to return to Los Angeles where he will serve as assistant GM.
The hiring of Leech ends a summer of unknown and speculation regarding his future employment. In the past he was working as a broadcaster with his former club on MSG and had been linked to many coaching jobs. There was even the rumor that he would have joined former teammate Mark Messier as an assistant coach had Messier gotten the Rangers coaching job.
Shanahan’s staff also includes former NHL defenseman Stephane Quintal who has been with Shanahan since 2011.
Also joining the player safety department is former Philadelphia scout Patrick Burke. The son of Brian Burke, also is a founding partner of the You Can Play Project. Burke has been involved in hockey for many years and will bring a different viewpoint and perspective to the department. Shanahan went on to say that Burke’s experiences “will be invaluable to the team that monitors games each night to both identify incidents that might merit Supplemental Discipline and to note developing trends in our game”.
Burke will work in a similar role to his father, who worked at the league’s front office as director of hockey operations before working with various clubs including Vancouver, Anaheim and Toronto.