Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: mike keenan
from the algemeiner,
With hockey fans across North America in despair over the NHL lockout, the winter sport is set to return to an unlikely warm-weather country—Israel.
For the first time in 16 years, ice hockey will make an appearance at the 19th Maccabiah Games scheduled to begin in Israel in July 2013. All the hockey games will be played at the Canada Center in Metula, home to the largest ice rink in Israel. Teams from Canada, the U.S., France and Israel are expected to compete.
As with most international hockey events, Team Canada is the likely favorite. Leading the Canadian squad to Israel will be NHL coaching legend Mike Keenan, who led the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994.
Keenan, whose former wife is Jewish and daughter is being raised Jewish, will coach a Canadian team that includes several NHL draft picks and top college players.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Former Team Canada coach Mike Keenan is on the short list of candidates to take over as head coach of Latvia’s hockey program.
Keenan, who won the Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers, is one of two candidates Latvian Ice Hockey Federation president Kirov Lipman told the newspaper Diena (Day).
Latvia remains in the top group, having avoided relegation in the world championships in Slovakia in spring.
I’m glad [the turnaround has] arrived. When you have lean years, and if you’re drafting properly, eventually it will come around for you.
“I think Dale Tallon put a lot of piece of the puzzle in place, and now Stan Bowman has picked up from there.”
-former Chicago Coach Mike Keenan. More from Keenan at ESPN Chicago.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
Iron Mike has thrown his black hat in the Devils’ ring.
Mike Keenan, the only coach in 70 years to lead the Rangers to a Stanley Cup, told The Post he is interested in trying to end the Devils’ seven-year drought.
“I’m interested in coaching, not just any possible job, but with somebody like Lou [Lamoriello], who has a lot of experience and continues to formulate strong teams, probably the best in the game, well . . .” Keenan said yesterday.
It is believed that Keenan was interested in the Devils job last summer, but Lamoriello waited out top choice Jacques Lemaire.
via Steve Buffery at the Toronto Sun,
Fired last season by the Calgary Flames, despite guiding his injury-laden team to the Western Conference quarterfinals for the second consecutive year, Keenan said he certainly would accept a coaching position in the NHL if the right opportunity arose.
“I definitely still have a lot of interest in the profession,” said Keenan, who guided the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994. “I think I still have something to offer to a hockey club. I’m not to the point where I feel I’m retired. I’m way too young to be retired.”
Keenan, 60, admitted that being fired by the now-struggling Flames still stings.
“I was disappointed about being fired and disappointed about the rationale,” he said. “We had a very good season, we ran into some very critical injuries to some players who had some long-term, serious disabilities. And then we ran into cap problems, where we had issues of (not being able to) ice appropriate number of players.
“...They gave Bowman four years to get a Cup in Detroit . . . but we only had two years and I didn’t know it.”
-Ex-Flames Coach Mike Keenan. More from Kennan by Scott Cruickshank of Flames Insider.
from Jeff Gordon of The Hockey Guy at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
He coached another promising Flames team to another playoff failure. Regular readers of the Hockey Guy blog were not surprised by this unhappy turn of events.
Keenan was destined to fail. Predictably, he wore down goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
He gave lumbering Todd Bertuzzi a wide berth. He orchestrated the exit of needed skilled players. He didn’t get enough out of Dion Phaneuf and Jarome Iginla, franchise cornerstones, leaders who were supposed to be his type of players.
Keenan has never been a great tactician. He has never been the hardest working coach in the league, either.
His forte was motivation – and his famous intimidation tactics became ineffective once players began earning millions to play their sport.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
“Mike’s a guy who was coaching in his heyday in the ’80s and early ’90s when he had his success,” Regehr said late Friday afternoon after news of Keenan’s dismissal broke. “If you don’t adapt, it doesn’t work anymore. It’s become a lot more technical.
“We just were lacking in that area.”...
Since 1996 in St. Louis, his teams have not advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs.
“The biggest difference from back then is the margin of error,” Regehr said.
“The margin of error was a lot greater back then. You were able to play that type of hockey. There was so much talent on some of those teams. There was a big, big discrepancy. They could just turn it on in a period and win games and do it on a regular basis.”
Reporting live from my hospital bed, waiting to check out.
Sources tell TSN the Calgary Flames have fired head coach Mike Keenan and will announce the move shortly. Details to follow.
added 6:09pm, Calgary, AB - Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today that Mike Keenan has been relieved of his coaching duties with the team.
“Our team did not meet expectations,” said Sutter. “Following detailed evaluation over the past three weeks, and taking into consideration all factors affecting our season ending result, we believe this is a necessary change required to allow our team to continue toward our objective of winning the Stanley Cup.”
“The Calgary Flames organization appreciates and respects Mike for accepting the opportunity to come to Calgary and are thankful for his efforts over the past two years.”
Other members of the Flames coaching staff remain subject to further review and evaluation
Al Cameron of the Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald, from Mike Keenan’s press conference:
Also interesting was Keenan’s somewhat condescending point (or maybe I’m just a little over-sensitive) that, yes, he’s been a member of the media in the past, and yes, he knows the pressures we’re under from higher-ups (yes, you editors know who you are!) to draw conclusions and pass judgement on hockey matters, but maybe, just maybe, we don’t know the full story in all cases..
A bit more from Keenan about this year’s playoffs here, mentioning that he plans to be behind the bench next season, and a few other points.
And what did Miikka Kiprusoff have to say today? Another posting from Cameron:
Hey, whaddya know? Miikka Kiprusoff, for the second straight year, has elected to blow off the media and, by extension, blow off the fans of the Calgary Flames by not speaking on garbage bag day.
Yes, I know his job is to stop pucks for the Calgary Flames, not speak to the media, but at some point he’s got to say something to the people who pay a good chunk of his salary by buying tickets to see him play.
No such luck this year. Thanks for nothing, Miikka . . .
via Jeff Gordon of the Hockey Guy at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Here is a shocker: Mike Keenan has once failed horribly with a big budget team, amid great hype.
The yesteryear coaching legend had led still another franchise to epic disappointment. This time it is the Calgary Flames – a team that Darryl Sutter retooled to meet Iron Mike’s specifications.
The Flames caught a first-round cab against the upstart Blackhawks, coached by Old Friend Joel Quenneville.
The bald-headed despot ran off skilled players, played goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff into the ice and then got outcoached when the games mattered. Nice work!
Given the high expectations in Calgary, this exit will not go over well. Knowing Keenan, he will probably try and end-around by going to ownership to get more control, at the expense of GM Darryl Sutter.
Perhaps Sutter will try to save himself by cashiering Keenan, who is a tactically incompetent coach whose motivational tactics quit working ages ago — when top players gained lifetime security with multi-million-dollar deals.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
So much for a mellow Mike Keenan.
Without naming names, the Calgary Flames head coach lambasted his stars Friday after a dismal 5-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in a game that meant nothing—absolutely nothing—to the hosts.
“I expected more out of our best players,” Iron Mike snarled in the bowels of Rexall Place. “We were missing the net or we weren’t bearing down and we didn’t have the instinct to bury it.”
Indeed. The Flames missed the net 29 times compared to eight wayward shots for Edmonton.
“They’ve got to come out with a lot more determination about that part of their game, Keenan snapped.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Even though it’s Darryl Sutter who will ultimately decide if Iron Mike gets to start the final season of his three-year deal, Brent’s future could very well play a large part in the equation.
Despite being in the second year of a long-term deal with the New Jersey Devils, Brent has hinted all year long his days with the Eastern Conference club may be numbered….
All that can be remedied if the following were to unfold:
Sutter is the odds-on favourite to be named head coach of Canada’s Olympic team at the conclusion of the NHL playoffs. After all, the second-year Devils coach has a perfect record with Canada at the World Juniors and he’s already one of the premier coaches in today’s game.
Sutter could then resign and move back to Alberta, where he could work closely with Hockey Canada officials while living at home and scouting players coming through Western Canada.
Once the Olympics are complete, the door would be open for him to replace Keenan as the Flames next coach, bringing the number of Sutter brothers employed by the club to four. Darryl’s son is a club farmhand.
With knowledge of Brent’s imminent return to Alberta and desire to coach close to home, Darryl would be hesitant to fire Keenan prematurely and hire another coach to bridge the short gap until Brent is available.
“People don’t understand you’re dealing with desperate teams, no one’s going to go away with a fight. That’s just the way the league’s set up. It’s an 82-game marathon. You get to stop the marathon after 82 games and then you get into the [playoff] starting blocks to run a 100-yard dash.
“That’s your reward.”
-Flames coach Mike Keenan. More on Calgary from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail (Monday edition).
via Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,
“I think he’s had a year of growth,” Keenan said. “Again, he’s 23 years old. People forget that. He’s learning. He’s learning more about his game. He’s learning more about the defensive aspect of his game. He’s learning more about the offensive aspect of his game.”
In 76 games, Phaneuf has 11 goals and 45 points with a plus-minus rating of minus-13.
“He will have fluctuations for a while yet, because of his age and his inexperience,” Keenan said, of the former Norris Trophy nominee. “He’s had some very strong games. For example, I told him he was a force in the Pittsburgh game. He was probably the best player on the ice. Because (Sidney) Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin were non-decript. They didn’t want anything to do with them. They certainly knew he was on the ice. They were looking for him. And he was a force in our game against Minnesota, and he was very much a part of the game last night.”
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The Calgary Flames head coach pulled No.-1 netminder Miikka Kiprusoff early in the third period of last night’s 8-6 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, which should come as no surprise with the way the netminder was faring.
However, even though Kiprusoff allowed six goals on 22 shots, Keenan blamed himself for the goalie’s sub-par performance.
“He’d like to have a better game, I’m sure, but I think it was my fault for even playing him tonight because of what he had to go through and the work he had last game,” Keenan said.
“I take full credit for probably starting the wrong goaltender.”
from Flames Insider,
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s oddball match against the St. Louis Blues — plenty of bad blood, but, curiously, little pep to the game — Calgary Flames coach Mike Keenan had plenty to say following the 3-1 win.
* About St. Louis RW Cam Janssen’s hits on LW Andre Roy and D Robyn Regehr: “He definitely left his feet (on Roy), and he definitely left his feet on Regehr. The two hits he made . . . he jumped and leaped. He definitely left his feet with the intent of hitting a player who didn’t have the puck. A deliberate intent to injure. There’s no question in my mind. I watched it over and over just to make sure that I was looking at it clearly. It’s up to the officials and the league to address it. He broke Prustie’s jaw (Dec. 5 at St. Louis). But this one was so blatant and so obvious . . . there’s no need for that tactic in the game. You can body guys all you can and drive them with your shoulder, but you start leaping at guys and leaving your feet? Then . . . you losing respect for the game. The league should take some action and suspend them.”
more on the Flames and watch the hit on Regehr below…
from Flames Insider,
Flames coach Mike Keenan received a boisterous round of boos Tuesday night when his image flashed up on the Jumbotron at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Iron Mike served as coach and general manager of the Blues from 1994-96, and it appears some of the faithful are still bitter over his reign — especially over the departure of several key players including Wayne Gretzky, Brendan Shanahan, Al MacInnis, and Brett Hull.
“It’s kind of difficult when you’re getting marching orders to trade people,” Keenan said. “I’m not shy to tell the folks here that I was explicitly told to trade MacInnis, Hull and Shanahan to reduce the budget significantly. The team didn’t want to carry those finances.
“I told them at the time. I said, `there’s going to be a major backlash if this happens.’”
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
So with both the under-achieving Flames and the disappointing Oilers set to reach the season’s quarter pole this week, the question needs to be asked: Which of Keenan and/or MacTavish will still be behind their team’s bench in January when the season hits the halfway mark?
Who gets fired first?
Keenan’s and MacTavish’s situations are far from similar, yet strangely, you could argue they are also exactly the same in a lot of areas.
Keenan is in only his second season behind the Calgary bench. MacTavish is in Year 8 in the Big E.
From the CP via TSN,
Keenan, who coached Bertuzzi when the two were with the Vancouver Canucks in the late 1990s, said he’s excited to see what the six-foot-three, 226-pound forward can accomplish this season.
‘‘He’s more experienced than when I coached him,’’ Keenan said. ‘‘He’s in a good space mentally. He’s positive about himself and about his opportunity here he views this I’m sure as a good new start.”
Keenan confirmed he’ll test out Bertuzzi on Calgary’s top line to start training camp.
from the Calgary Herald,
So, going into a game like this we’ve got lots of guys who have been in positive situations,” said Iginla. “So you draw on those things. You definitely do. You get good vibes going.
Imagine the whopper that Alex Tanguay could weave.
Game 7! . . . Stanley Cup final! . . . two goals! . . . including the game-winner as the Colorado Avalanche shaded the New Jersey Devils in 2001.
Also skating in that championship skirmish was Stephane Yelle, the NHL’s active leader in Game 7 appearances—11, including tonight.
Mike Keenan, meanwhile, will skipper a Game 7 for the 10th time—a league record.
But everyone—no matter how fat the resume—will be fighting jitters.
more on the Flames…
Calgary Flames assistant coach Rich Preston and Flames captain Jarome Iginla got into a very heated argument during a video session this morning.
The argument was based on a disagreement between coach and captain over coverage in game four last night.
Flames coach Mike Keenan acknowledges the argument took place and admits it was heated but says Iginla later apologized and the two were put into a room together to settle their differences. ‘‘All brothers scrap,’’ Keenan joked. ‘‘However, that doesn’t mean then don’t care for each other, in fact it’ the opposite,’’ he told TSN.ca.
They “care for each other”? This mellow, ‘kinder, gentler’ version of Iron Mike is hard to get used to…
Update 5:33pm ET: More on Flames frustrations from Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“We’re like the Queen,” the San Jose Sharks’ Joe Thornton was saying. “We travel with our own toilet seat.”
OK, that probably needs some explanation. The Sharks moved into the visitor’s dressing room at the Pengrowth Saddledome Sunday morning, to continue their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series against the Flames. The Sharks usually travel with all kinds of team-related paraphernalia. Draped just inside the entrance to the dressing room are replicas of their Pacific Division champion banners (from 2001-02 and 2003-04). There are personalized Shark skate mats for each player; every one of the four walls also has a This Is Sharks Playoff time posters. All make sense – sort of.
Update 6:01pm ET: More from Duhatschek today on the Sharks/Flames series, including musings on Jarome Iginla’s “scoring slump”:
[On] Masters Sunday, Keenan invoked the spirit of Tiger Woods, noting how Iginla “reminds me of Tiger – a bogey on the first hole and then he’s going to birdie the rest of the 17. I’m looking forward to it.”
added 6:51pm, Why not- even more on the toilet seat from Working the Corners....
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
“I’m biting my tongue here,’’ Keenan said after Game 2.
That didn’t sit well with Sharks coach Ron Wilson, who has long argued against a more relaxed standard of officiating in the postseason.
“The playoffs are an extension of the regular season, and we play by the same rules,’’ Wilson said Friday. “There’s not a red rulebook for the playoffs and a white one for the regular season.’‘
All in all, it’s been a virtuoso performance by two of the NHL’s top bench bosses and media agitators. Both are experts with pungent sound bites and jabbing comments to their players as well.
“They both have their thick books of things they say,’’ Roenick said. “At times, I’d like to put earplugs in my ears on the bench, but they both do it because they’re passionate about the game.’‘
from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
Thornton had plenty of nice things to say and credited Keenan with helping his own development as a young player. Today Keenan returned the compliments, saying nice things about Thornton and telling one story from his early days as a Bruin.
“One day I told him, ‘Joe, you’ve got to train harder. Ride the bike.’ And he asked me how long? ‘I don’t know, I’ll be back to let you know.’ And I got preoccupied. An hour later, I forgot. And he’s still riding, and the trainer says Joe wants to know if he can stop now. I said, ‘Oh my god, I forgot all about hm.’ So I go and say, OK, Joe, now you can get off.”
read on about how Thornton may have been traded to the Florida Panthers…
From Eric Francis at the Calgary Sun, Jeremy Roenick tells a story about Mike Keenan:
“In the 1992 Stanley Cup, I got slashed by Kevin Stevens, and Mike threw a cast on my hand and put me in front of the media to get a point across to the league and the officials that I was getting cheap-shotted,” chuckled Roenick during a conference call yesterday setting up his Sharks’ series with Keenan’s Calgary Flames.
“He made me a guinea pig—it was kind of embarrassing—but what Mike says, you do. Mike is a genius when it comes to head games and getting into the referees’ or players’ heads. He’s crazy—very slippery, very sly. He can manipulate a lot of people with what comes out of his mouth. That’s just a talent.”
Today, the NHL’s Public Relations Department provided Calgary Flames head coach Mike Keenan for media teleconference. The Flames currently have 92 points and reside at 7th seed in the Western Conference. They trail Minnesota in the NW Division by three points and are one point the behind Colorado with one game in hand.
Here’s the transcript from the media’s Q&A time with ‘Iron Mike.’
Q. There’s so much parity in the league and so much has to be decided in the last five days here. Do you have any sort of theory on why it’s so close? We have seen it now in three straight years since the lockout. I have my own theory, it may have to do with the shootout point, but go ahead and answer that.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
At the tail end of a brief interview following yesterday’s practice, Kristian Huselius was asked if he’d dealt with being a healthy scratch before.
“I did in Florida,” said Huselius, before adding a telling kicker as he walked away to abruptly cut short his first comments on the benching: “with him, so…”
“Him” being coach Mike Keenan, the man who relegated the healthy winger to the press box Tuesday as part of their latest clash in philosophies.
Back in 2003, when the two last worked together, Huselius was, by several accounts, a regular target of the demanding coach despite reaching the 20-goal mark in each of his first two NHL seasons.
Stories of Keenan loudly berating young Huselius for soft or indifferent play still circulate around Miami’s tiny hockey circles.
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
...All is not daisies and buttercups between Iron Mike and the none-too-chipper Kipper.
The strain, hinted at on a few occasions already as the the halfway point of the NHL season approaches, is showing.
Keenan obviously wants more, and more consistently, from this franchise’s meal-ticket goaltender, who has, it must be said, been sub-par by his own towering standards for much of this season. Kiprusoff, just as obviously, isn’t over the moon about playing monkey to Keenan’s organ grinder - Pinocchio puppet to Iron Mike’s wicked Stromboli.
from the CP via TSN,
“It’s a challenging job and I’ve enjoyed it,” said Keenan. “Even though we had a very hard and difficult beginning in terms of working with the group and assimilating the group, I still wanted to come to the rink badly every day.
“I think the fire’s really burning right now. I’m looking forward to hopefully many more years of this yet because I’ve got that passion back again and it feels good.”
The good vibes are no doubt fuelled by the fact that Keenan’s team is among the hottest in the NHL, having recently become only the third squad in history to sweep a six-game road trip.
from the Calgary Sun,
“There was a lot of scrutiny in terms of budgets and financial perameters that may or may not be there (now). I think the budget went up 10-million bucks the year I was fired as a manager,” said Keenan, who planned on building around centre Olli Jokinen and star goaltender Roberto Luongo but dealt the latter when financial negotiations failed.
“Hopefully they’re confident enough that the marketplace will turn around and support the budget they’re working ... At the time, coming out of the lockout, it was tough for an ownership group because they didn’t get the fanbase they had anticipated. I respect what they were doing but it’s difficult in those circumstances to put a team on the ice that maybe you’d like.”
from the Calgary Sun,
“You won one game, big (expletive) deal! Do it right!” screamed coach Mike Keenan in the middle of the Calgary Flames practice yesterday….
“It’s not about winning one, it’s about stringing some together,” said centre Craig Conroy.
“I think that was the major point, ‘Who cares you won one, it’s not breaking any records.’ You’re not gonna win two if you have a practice as bad as we had.
“He definitely let it be known it’s unacceptable and be ready for (today). They’re in a similar situation as us so it’s gonna be a tough game.”
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
Very often the Flames appear confused on defense. On many nights it looks like they are not on the same page. It’s Keenan’s responsibility to make sure Calgary’s defense is organized and has a sound defensive system. But Keenan has never been a system driven coach. He wants emotion, energy, combativeness and competiveness. It’s hard to win in today’s NHL with just those qualities. Teams need a comprehensive defensive system.
from the Daily Herald,
Whatever problems he might have had with Keenan all those years ago are in the past, according to Savard.
“To tell you the truth, Mike’s a good coach and he had to do what he had to do then and that’s just the way it goes,” Savard said. “I think you know my personality. I’m not one of those guys that’s going to hold a grudge against anybody, whether we worked well or not together. I moved on a long time ago and he’s been a good coach in this league for a long time.”
from the Calgary Herald,
Following Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, Keenan had been asked about his boys coughing up another two power-play goals.
The coach figuratively shoved his goalie to front and centre on a first-period tally by Robert Nilsson. His statement included the line: “It’s pretty difficult to criticize the people on the penalty-killing situation when your goaltender is not part of the solution.”
Damning stuff. Which Iron Mike took measures to clarify Monday.
“Well, first of all, the media has misconstrued the comments,” started Keenan.
from All Things Avs by Adrian Dater,
- Calgary is going to implode soon. I’ve talked to a few former Flames and they say there is just plain bad chemistry in their locker room. I don’t see Mike Keenan changing that much.
- Edmonton is terrible. Dustin Penner is a nice player, but Kevin Lowe grossly overpaid for him, in his retaliation move against Brian Burke and the Ducks over Chris Pronger.
more NHL bits plus Adrian wonders where are all the Avs fans?
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
When GM Darryl Sutter deposed Jim Playfair as coach after one season and installed Iron Mike, the thinking was that the Flames had to get back to the hard-nosed play that saw them advance to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals. Sutter, whose relationship with Keenan extends back to their shared days in Chicago, believed the old task master was just the man to do the job.
Now, with the team in a free fall, there are questions about its preparation, focus, drive, energy and desire. Those are all of the things, the intangibles, Keenan was supposed to bring to the table. Those are coaching issues.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Calgary Flames coach Mike Keenan didn’t exactly leap to the defence of his injured centre Daymond Langkow on Friday….
“I looked at the tape again today,” said Keenan. “I know Matt Cooke, I coached him, he’s a little bit of a hunter, and you know he’s out there, you know he’s coming at you, and you know he’s going to body you.
“But he didn’t leave his feet. He hit him hard into the boards; at the same time, you have a responsibility to know that players like that are out there. It’s a fine line between playing the game hard; he cracked him good, and Daymond maybe should have positioned himself in a more protective manner so he wouldn’t have had the whiplash effect against the glass.”
more NHL talk including Bouillon explaining his hit on Aaron Ward…
from the Calgary Sun,
What’s preventing the club that’s now lost four straight games from the expected 60-minute performance?
“I have some ideas, but I’m not prepared to share them right now,” Keenan finally said. “I want to discuss them with the team before I make those comments.
“I think I know why but I want to make sure, and in fairness to them give them an opportunity to explain it first before I have that discussion.
“Maybe I can answer your question in a day or two.”
Until then, Keenan’s club will deservedly be queried about its Jekyll-and-Hyde outings. After all, it’s hard to understand how a team that went into the clash having lost three in a row could be listless through the first 30 minutes.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Keenan watchers in these parts have been waiting for the inevitable eruption, any sign that the legendary Iron Mike was ready to lose it on his up-and-down Flames’ squad. So far, there’s been none of that — and what passes for frustration has been mild compared to what coach Craig MacTavish may be saying about his Oilers or Alain Vigneault about his Vancouver Canucks.
It isn’t clear if this is a kinder, gentler Keenan or simply a craftier version, someone who knows that all eyes will be on him when things go wrong — and he refuses to take the bait and go bananas in public.
from the Calgary Sun,
Keenan thought a linesman’s whistle while the game was still scoreless in the first period could just as easily have been the difference.
Robyn Regehr had just smashed Jeremy Roenick into the boards and left him frozen and dazed but still standing, as Jarome Iginla was sprung on a breakaway the other way. But the man in stripes adamantly blew his whistle.
“That could have been a turning point more than the shorthanded goal,” said Keenan, who was even more flustered Roenick waved to fans on his way to the bench. “I didn’t appreciate that he gestured to the crowd when he was supposed to be the injured player.”
more on the Flames…
From George Johnson at the Calgary Herald,
“Everything has changed so dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years in regards to handling players. I don’t know about Mike, but I’ve had zero success trying to make players do things. It just doesn’t work.
“You have to explain things to them now. You have to make them think what you’re trying to get across is their idea. The dictatorial days are over.
“I don’t think. There’s so much more pressure on players than before.’’ He gestured around him, to a small army of scribblers, cameras and microphones milling around. Used to be, there were half a dozen of you guys here on game day. Now there’s 20. Or more. There are appearances, community commitments.
“So much more of their time is taken away by the game. So if they show up at the rink and you suffocate them, there’s a danger of sucking the life right out of them.’‘
*MacTavish coached his 500th Oilers’ game Saturday night and shares some memories of opposing coach Mike Keenan and the Battle of Alberta)
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
When Bowman was coach and GM in Buffalo, he hired Keenan to coach the Sabres’ AHL farm club in Rochester, N.Y.
“I think that a lot of what I know ... I’ve learned from Scotty Bowman.”
Apparently, though, there are certain things Keenan never gleaned from Bowman’s vast hockey mind.
Such as knowing when to show up.
Bowman owned a knack for arriving to take charge of teams on the brink of success, which he did in Montreal, Pittsburgh and Detroit.
Lately, Keenan has acted more like a homeless coach, simply happy to have a warm bench to stand behind.
from the Calgary Herald,
...Anyway, they had an all-girl Western band playing. We’re having a few pops and enjoying ourselves.
“Well, by the end of the night, Mike’s up on stage, Burnsie’s up on stage. They’re both playing guitar and singing—Mike has a very good voice, I’ll have you know—with the band and the place is just going wild. That, to me, is Mike Keenan. “A funny guy. A personable guy. That other guy, the one you hear about all the time, he’s a stranger to me.’‘
The other guy, the one you hear about all the time, is the Mike Keenan of legend. The snarling, bullying, caustic martinet capable of eliciting either undying devotion or undying scorn from his players.
fro Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Stopping short of calling his team lazy, Mike Keenan delivered his first public tongue-lashing of the Flames, punctuating a tirade-filled practice with a frank critique of his squad.
“I am prepared to say the work ethic of this team can be upgraded considerably,” said Keenan, minutes after a spirited skate that had players rubbing one another out while Keenan screamed.
“We have to change the habits around here, maybe not the culture.”
From the CP,
The Iron Mike watch is underway in Calgary.
Will new head coach Mike Keenan alienate his players? Or will he give a club that underachieved last season the edge it needs to be a Stanley Cup contender?
Eyebrows disappeared into hairlines when Flames general manager Darryl Sutter brought Keenan on board in June, partly because Jim Playfair, handpicked by Sutter to replace himself as head coach prior to the 2006-07 season, agreed to stay on as associate coach to Keenan.