Showing posts with label Mike Keenan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Keenan. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Keenan leaves Florida Tuesday with a smile

Pretty well any Calgary Flames road trip these days is going to bring head coach Mike Keenan somewhere familiar. Bringing him back to a place where the locals may not be particularly inclined to host a welcome home party.

But Tuesday in South Florida, Keenan returned to the most recent stop on his coaching CV, an outpost where it seems little is really known about the game, but still much is remembered about the former coach and General Manager.

By the time that Keenan had left Florida, he had traded away the blossoming Roberto Luongo, a gift of a trade to the Vancouver Canucks that brought Todd Bertuzzi to Florida for a brief vacation, seemingly destroyed a long time friendship with Jacques Martin and greased the skids for Keenan’s departure prior to the 2006-07 season.

While he can count the successful years of New York and Chicago in the fond memory files, we suspect that like his time in Vancouver, his Florida timeshare with the Panthers was not his most satisfying of hours.

The Panthers never seemed to get focused, let alone play up to any potential that they might have had under Keenan. He describes that team as one that wasn’t ready to win and well they certainly proved that he at least recognized ineptitude when he saw it.

Not that things seem to have changed much since his departure. Tuesday, his new team the Calgary Flames, playing in Florida for the first time in five years (betcha that the Panther fans didn’t even know they were in the league) they managed to overcome the Panthers with a 2-1 shoot out victory.

It was captain Jarome Iginla who saved the night, scoring with but ten seconds to go in the game to send it into overtime, Miikka Kiprusoff did his part by shutting down the Panthers in the over time and shoot out phase of the game, while former Panther Kristian Huselius secured the win for the Flames and for the former face of hockey in Florida.

It’s a face that still can ratchet up the emotions even after he’s long departed.

South Florida Sun Sentinel--Keenan says return not so special
Palm Beach Post--Split hasn't fazed Keenan

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

16:22 of the second period, October 22, 2007

Check your tickets, we have a winner!

The Captain Hook pool is officially over, Mike Keenan pulled Mikka Kiprusoff for the first (and most likely not the last) time on Monday night. Relieving Calgary’s number one after the San Jose Sharks scored their third unanswered goal of the night.

Keenan, who has become a legend in the NHL over his frequent hooks of the past, was quick to point out that his decision Monday had nothing to do with the play of the steadfast Calgary goaltender, but more was designed to impress upon his team mates to get with the program.

It was a message that seemingly fell on deaf ears, as the Flames proceeded to leave Rookie Curtis McElhinney to his own devices in the Calgary end of the rink. McElhinney surrendered his own goal early in the third, as the Sharks continued on along their way to an eventual 4-1 victory.

Calgary showed no energy or jump for the bulk of the game, with a number of careless mental errors contributing to the lethargic ways, giving the Sharks a rather easy time of it.

An effort or lack of, that was noticed by their head coach and will no doubt be addressed over the next few practice sessions.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

You go your way and I'll go mine...

We're not sure what musical selections might be on the iPods of Mike Keenan or Roberto Luongo, but surely there is some room in the digital universe for an old Bob Dylan classic. A hopeful song about admitting past mistakes and moving along.

If so, then the Vancouver goaltender and the Calgary coach must have been humming up a storm or then again maybe not. Keenan returned to Vancouver yesterday to a team that he once coached and left after fourteen months, lost and discouraged when his version of tough love wreaked havoc on the franchise. While the Vancouver media might have wished to reminisce about the bad old days (and they did), the juicy potential of the more recent battles between Keenan and his former goaltender probably were too good to pass up.

Luongo and Keenan should have crossed paths for the first time this season on Wednesday, though it seems either by happenstance or design, they managed not to actually speak or even nod at each other while wandering the bowels of GM Place in Vancouver.

Keenan's new project, the Calgary Flames were in Vancouver for a pre-season match with the Canucks on Wednesday night and while everyone awaits the first Iron Mike missive on the state of the Flames and their fortunes, there still is time for a little retro review for the Vancouver media.

And nothing can stir up the soup than retracing those fun filled days of Florida when Keenan and Luongo who went toe to toe over contract negotiations that ultimately led to Luongo moving on to Vancouver in exchange for Todd Bertuzzi and Alex Auld.

Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail recounts those testy days and tests the waters to see if there is still some underlying bitterness at how it all came to pass back in June of 2006 and how things may evolve now that the two main participants in those acrimonious days are now once again in the same division and will see each other at least eight times over the next seven months.

For the first match between the two divisional rivals, Luongo started and played for thirty minutes stopping all fourteen Flames shots that he faced before giving way to Cory Schneider to finish the game who also shut out the Flames on seven shots.

Vancouver backed their goaltenders up with scoring and solid physical play matching the Flames stride for stride, hit for hit and punch for punch , putting the Flames away 4-0 and leaving Keenan with more than a few things to jot down and begin to address as only he can.

All but one of the Vancouver goals came against Calgary's back up for the night Curtis McElhinney. He relieved Miikka Kirpusoff in the second period, only to watch the Canucks find relatively easy success and score three goals on five shots. Kirpusoff had faced fifteen shots and turned away fourteen before taking his spot on the bench.

One suspects that once the regular season begins Kiprusoff will spend more time on the ice than on the bench and the results will be a little tighter on the score sheets which may help to ease some of the anxious moments for the Flames and their new coach.

Still a win is a win, a shut out, a shut out and Luongo and his team mates can mark one down in their column for the reunion tour. It was already one of the bitterest of rivalries in the NHL, but this season each and every Flames/Canucks game is going to be a treat.

But judging by the tone of the first match of the year, those iPods are going to feature songs that showcase the animosity of these two teams, perhaps the Dixie Chicks and Not ready to make nice might get a play or two before this season is over.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In a town known for boots, there’s apparently an iron pair on the way!

If folks thought that the players of the Calgary Flames were running the asylum, then things are about to change rather dramatically at the Saddle dome. Rumours are swirling around the NHL that Daryl Sutter is about to inject a strong presence on the bench, as Mike Keenan, Iron Mike for those that get on the wrong side, has reportedly been hired by the flames to take over the coaching duties for next year.

Soon to be former coach Jim Playfair is expected to be offered another position with the club, and reports have it that he's accepting the demotion. However, he may wish to make a little distance between himself and the soon to come explosions, maybe try to throw his name into the coaching pool elsewhere.

While the last season and Playfair’s first as head coach, wasn’t particularly earth shattering, the Flames did make the playoffs under Playfair, exiting early as expected by many. As the first round unfolded in Detroit’s favour, suggestions were made that Sutter should take over the reins in the midst of the playoff battles. It was a temptation that he chose to resist, but apparently gave him cause for further reflection as to Playfair’s ultimate status.

The Sutter and Keenan reunion will reverse the flow of their relationship of their Chicago Days in 1988, when Keenan was coach of the Hawks and Sutter his assistant, it was the last time that the Black Hawks would appear in a playoff final. This time around however, Sutter will be the boss and Keenan the employee, an interesting turn of events but one that many say will cause no problems. The two are apparently of the same mind when it comes to handling personnel and demanding a work ethic from those that pull on a sweater, making for an intense training camp coming up for the Flames next September.

If proven correct, it's sure to be a choice that will be talked about long through the summer. Keenan's stints of the last few years haven't been particularly successful. His time in Vancouver left that team with a huge rift that nearly ripped the team apart at one time, it was only through the efforts of Brian Burke that Vancouver returned to a competitive form, though still under achievers even after Burke himself was let go.

The most recent stop on the Keenan express was Florida, which was a mess from so many directions, with Jacques Martin left to pick up the pieces, rather unsuccessfully as it stands yet.

It will be quite interesting to watch the developments in Calgary and whether Keenan still is relevant to the "new" NHL as far as coaching strategy goes.Those Flames currently under contract should try to enjoy their summer as best they can, September will arrive faster that they know and with it a whole new adventure will beckon those that take to the ice for Keenan.

Let the media frenzy begin:

Canoe-Keenan to coach Flames
The Hockey News-Calgary Flames to Hire Mike Keenan as head coach
Globe and Mail-Keenan could resurface in Calgary to hire Keenan as Head Coach coming to Calgary
CBC Sports: Flames hire Keenan as head coach: report
TSN: Keenan to Calgary: It's a possibility
Calgary Herald: Keenan set to sign on as Flames new coach

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Järn Mike se take anklaga av Tre Kronor

Upcoming training camps in Stockholm won’t be for the weak of heart, nor for the lazy, as the new no nonsense Senior Advisor to the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation takes up his duties.

Mike Keenan is on the move again, the long time coach and GM of many an NHL squad is taking his interpretations of hockey to Sweden. Keenan was named today as kind of a development czar for Swedish under 20 and under 18 hockey.

The news was relayed today on TSN, but seems to have first surfaced back on April 12th considering this afterthought found on the sportsnet site.

Regardless, it would seem that 11 days in between reports didn't change the end result and Keenan will soon be keeping a watchful eye over the tre kronors kids.

He has been tapped to observe the talent, make recommendations and assist the Swedes in fine tuning a system of evaluating and developing players for the national teams.

This after Sweden has suffered a few early exits from international competitions over the last few years. While he still has designs on an NHL job one day again, he felt that the time to get back to watching hockey players and developing a program had come around again.

Should a suitable NHL program come looking for his guidance, his agreement with the Swedish federation has an escape clause.

One wonders if the players on the Swedish rosters have the same option…

Keenan joins Swedes as hockey advisor
Darren Dreger
4/24/2007 9:37:39 AM

When it comes to Mike Keenan, the hockey world has learned to expect the unexpected. With that in mind, Keenan is about to add a new chapter to his storied career by returning to hockey management, but not with a National Hockey League team, at least not for the moment.

Keenan, most recently a hockey analyst with TSN, has accepted the position of Senior Advisor to the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation. His primary role will focus on Sweden's under 20 and under 18 programs, working on coaching development and player development, while helping Swedish officials fine tune an evaluation system for the selection of players. "

To be involved with a group and a country who have performed so well on the world stage with a strong emphasis on improving is very flattering," Keenan told TSN. "I'm looking forward to another opportunity to learn more about hockey and I'm humbled they respect me and the Canadian perspective enough to ask me," Keenan added.

"It's all about new ideas. Both for Sweden, and for me."

Keenan was first approached by the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation in early February, but he didn't accept the offer in anticipation an NHL position would surface.

It hasn't, so rather than wait for the phone to ring, the veteran coach and executive decided to add some International flavour to his resume. However, Keenan's contract with the Swedes will not impede his ability to return to the NHL at any point during the year and much of his responsibility will be completed from North America.

His first assignment will be to observe Sweden's performance at the upcoming World Men's Hockey Championship in Moscow.