Brendan Shanahan, the player, sees a common link between the two most famous coaches he played under, Mike Keenan and Scotty Bowman.
“I can handle a mean coach. I don’t mind a guy barking and yelling and winding me up, and I do think it had to be some of their plan with me,” Shanahan explained Monday, in conversation with Brian Burke at the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference.
“It was wind me up, get me mad, then put me on the ice. I was usually a better player when I was angry.”
Bowman and Keenan could be anger provokers, a couple of excellent if gruff bench coaches who weren’t afraid to play mind games or keep their players on edge.
Absolutely, Keenan’s off-ice methods weren’t always well received by his charges. An example: spitefully scratching a player he’d learned had purchased a bunch of tickets for friends and family to watch him play a road game.