Hull Taking Lost Captaincy Personally

Posted: October 25, 1995

Brett Hull and Mike Keenan are feuding.

On Monday, Keenan stripped Hull of his captain's role with the St. Louis Blues and replaced him with Shayne Corson.

Keenan said it was the "best thing for the team," but wouldn't elaborate. He also insisted it wasn't personal.

Hull disagrees.

"The heck it's not personal," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It is personal . . . It's a complete slap in the face. If I had done something to deserve it . . . "

Since Keenan came to the Blues last season, he generally has praised Hull's ability and work ethic. Just last week, Keenan said Hull was the "biggest convert" to the hard-working style of play Keenan demands.

But after a 5-2 loss to Buffalo Sunday, Keenan said Hull "took the night off." Hull responded by lashing out at Keenan for cutting his ice time, for benching Dale Hawerchuk with his parents in attendance at Buffalo, and for not taking responsibility for his decisions and blaming others for the team's lackluster, 3-4-1 record.

Hull leads the Blues with six goals and 10 points. He's among the league leaders with 37 shots on goal. His plus-minus rating is minus-3.

"In terms of his playing, it has nothing to do with it," Keenan said. ''He didn't play well Sunday night, but he's played well this year and last year. It's not personal. It's what we expect from the club and the team."

Said Hull: "I've worked my tail off. I changed my whole game for him, and that's not good enough. I stand up for my teammates. Isn't that what a captain's supposed to do?"

Hull scoffed at Keenan's assertion that assistant coaches Bob Berry and Roger Neilson, and Blues president Jack Quinn were involved in the decision.

"Sure they were," he said sarcastically. "Get everyone on your side. That's bull . . . It's the player's fault, so take the 'C' away from him. It makes a lot of sense.

"I don't get it."

Hull endorsed the selection of Corson.

"Shayne will do a great job," Hull said, "as long as he doesn't fall into the 'yes-man' trap."

In other news:

WINGS: SHEPPARD TO SHARKS

The Detroit Red Wings traded right wing Ray Sheppard, a 52-goal scorer in 1993-94, to the San Jose Sharks for center Igor Larionov, a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

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