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Volume 24 No. 217
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Former Blues Owner Mike Shanahan, Known For Signings, Dies At 78

Former Blues Owner MIKE SHANAHAN, who had a "gregarious personality and daring management style," died yesterday at the age of 78, according to Jeff Gordon of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Shanahan was owner from '86-95 and was "one of the most popular executives" in the region's sports history. Shanahan "recently had a double lung transplant." His "big breakthrough" with the Blues came in the '87-88 season, when the team acquired Hockey HOFer BRETT HULL from the Flames. During Shanahan’s watch, the "small-market Blues became the NHL’s most aggressive operation." The Blues "shocked the league" in '90 by landing free agent D SCOTT STEVENS and again a year later by acquiring F BRENDAN SHANAHAN. The Blues owner "stayed on the attack, signing MIKE KEENAN as coach on the heels of his Stanley Cup triumph" with the Rangers in '94. That would be Shanahan's "last big move for the Blues." Shanahan "stayed on as team chairman" until being replaced by JERRY RITTER after the '94-95 season. Ultimately, Shanahan "became a victim of his own success." Under his leadership, the Blues "became a far more popular sports entity in St. Louis." Members of Civic Progress "took a greater interest in the team and decided to back" a new arena project. They also "wanted their own guy running their team." Shanahan "drifted away from the sports scene and concentrated on operating" his own company (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/16).