In St. Louis, where he signed as a free agent after the '90-91 season, Shanahan organized a celebrity softball game to raise money for Alzheimer's research and honor his father. In St. Louis he became part of the city's profile. Shanahan, who is single, was more than a matinee and hockey idol in his four seasons with the Blues because he made the effort to know St. Louis as well as St. Louis knew him. The city's causes became his causes. Its identity as a hardworking, loyal town became his identity. If the city hated the Chicago Cubs, he would too. When Blues general manager Mike Keenan traded Shanahan in July 1995, the local spin on the deal was that Keenan couldn't abide a player so popular.
This time Shanahan is gone of his own doing. He and Detroit are still being introduced. The Red Wings—missing Coffey's speed and creativity on the point—began the season 0 for 33 on the power play, and Shanahan started slowly as well. He didn't score a goal in his first five games as a Red Wing, but he had scored six in his last 10 games at week's end. There is, however, no hurry. Last season Detroit settled for the fool's gold of a record 62 regular-season wins instead of a Cup. Now it is prepared to wait. The end of the rainbow is June. As the Irish say, When God made time, He made plenty of it.