First Messier award goes to Shanahan

The Associated Press

Brendan Shanahan's Rangers sweater bears an "A" instead of a "C," but his short time in New York already has earned accolades from former captain Mark Messier.

Jaromir Jagr inherited the captaincy from Messier -- after a year when the job was vacant -- before this season, and Shanahan was chosen as an alternate before he ever suited up for the Rangers.

His tenacious style on and off the ice has taken much of the leadership burden off the shoulders of the soft-spoken Jagr. Shanahan scored 14 goals in his first 19 games with the Rangers, making his transition to Broadway from Detroit that much smoother.

For that, Shanahan was given the first Mark Messier Leadership Award on Tuesday, hours before he scored the winning goal in the Rangers' 3-2 comeback victory over New Jersey.

The new award will be given to five players, one per month, chosen by Messier.

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