ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis Blues Chairman Tom Stillman released the following statement regarding the passing of former Blues Chairman Mike Shanahan:
“The St. Louis Blues organization is saddened to learn of the passing of former Blues chairman Mike Shanahan. Mr. Shanahan set a shining example of leadership both on and off the ice. He captivated Blues fans and made an immeasurable impact on the organization. He will forever be remembered for his passion for the Blues, his engaging personality, and his acquisition of Brett Hull. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Shanahan family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”
KMOX Sports analyst Mike Claiborne agrees, big acquisitions like Brett Hull and others helped set the tone for Shanahan’s tenure, also noting he was the first St. Louisan to head the team.
“Mike was all St. Louis when it comes to his athletic involvement,” Claiborne said on Sports Open Line Monday night. “Boy I’ll tell you something, you think about Bill DeWitt and the template he’s laid out as far as owning the St. Louis Cardinals, you know, Mike Shanahan is in that conversation with how he saved the team, and was able to create a real image, a real pride in the hockey team and in St. Louis.”
Shanahan helped form the Kiel Center Partners, which bought the team away from out of state interests and eventually helped keep the Blues in St. Louis with construction of Kiel Center — now called Scottrade Center. The Blues were in talks to move to Saskatoon.
Hull, current Blues executive vice president tweeted after hearing the news, Monday:
Al MacInnis and Bobby Plager sent a messages as well:
KMOX sports’ Mike Kelly and Claiborne also tweeted about the news.
From 1986 to 1995, he served as General Partner, Chairman, Governor for the St. Louis Blues.
Shanahan was inducted into the Missouri Sport Hall of Fame in 1997. He was a highly successful member of the St. Louis University Billikins soccer team which claimed two NCAA championships in 1959 and 1960. He was inducted into the St. Louis University Billikins Hall of Fame in 1994.
He was 78 years old. Details of his death have not yet been made public.
KMOX will update this story as more information becomes available.