The Calgary Flames were a nice team

June 14, 2007

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Mike Keenan will be the next head coach of the Calgary Flames. This is a bewildering choice for many reasons.

Why in the world would they bring this guy in to sail the ship? He is the man that pulled off perhaps the worst trade in the NHL in the last 10 years when as general manager of the Florida Panthers, he basically dealt all-world goaltender Roberto Luongo to the Canucks in exchange for all-world headache Todd Bertuzzi. Luongo ended up being a MVP candidate for the Northwest Division champion Canucks while Bertuzzi played all of seven games for the Panthers who missed the playoff for the sixth consecutive season.

A quick review of Keenan's credentials as a head coach also show this being a really odd choice. Keenan has not been behind the bench of a playoff team since he directed the St. Louis Blues to a second round elimination way back in 1996. That's an 11-year drought.

Additionally, he is pretty much the Larry Brown of the NHL. He doesn't stick around for too long regardless of his success.

He took the Flyers to the Stanley Cup final in two of his four years in Philadelphia before splitting.

After directing the Blackhawks to the final in 1992, where the Penguins swept them, Keenan jumped ship.

His only year in New York saw him lead the Rangers to a Cup win and then he sought greener pastures.

He lasted only two and a half seasons in St. Louis before being replaced in 1996-97.

Keenan's tenure ran just under a season as Vancouver's coach in 1997-98.

Ditto the 2001-02 season in Boston.

After three seasons as coach for the Panthers he became general manager, a position he eventually relinquished under less than sunny circumstances.

Meanwhile, the past three seasons, the Flames have been a solid, disciplined team that reached the Stanley Cup final in 2004.

We're willing to predict the Flames will not reach the playoff next season.


EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Sidney Crosby was named to the NHL's first team All-Star team.

Jim Balsillie takes another steps towards moving the Predators to Hamilton, Ont. Kudos to EN reader Jodie LeMaster for spotting this item.

Balsillie is already selling tickets for a franchise he doesn't yet own officially in a town it isn't even located in. Kudos to EN reader Gianni Vitucci for spotting this item.

This was an actual advertisement in today's Toronto Globe and Mail.

This is an actual event listed on Ticketmaster's Canadian Web site.

It has to really stink being a Nashville Predators fan right now.

Chris Gratton, who many thought would be a future superstar when he was originally drafted by the Lighting back in 1993, is returning to that organization for the third time after a trade with the Florida Panthers.

The Toronto Maple Leafs apparently have some interest in former Penguins winger Aleksey Morozov. (Under "Here and There.")

The Ottawa Senators have put Martin Gerber on the trading block. Gerber was signed from Carolina last offseason in hopes he would be the Senators starting goaltender. Ray Emery never let the postion go and eventually spearheaded the team to the final.

Gerber has been the backup goaltender for three Cup finalists in the past four seasons. If nothing, a team with a need for a backup goaltender would be wise to pick him up just for the Karma.

With just over a week left until the draft, in their own stadium no less, the Blue Jackets finally find a general manager.

The Blackhawks, owners of the top overall selection in the draft, could be dealers on draft day.

The Flyers sign Antero Nittymaki to a two-year deal.

It appears Rangers forward Jarkko Immonen will be leaving the NHL and return to Finland. The Penguins will now have a monopoly on the NHL's Jarkko market.

Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle gets a contract extension.

The Canucks shoot down a rumor that defenseman Mattias Ohlund will retire.

The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins sign Dartmouth product Ben Lovejoy. Reverend Lovejoy is still a free agent however.

The Detroit News had a really good story about Vladimir Konstantinov, the former Red Wings defenseman, whose career was ended in a car wreck a decade ago.

The Islanders will set up a 'blog box' (much like a press box) for bloggers who want to cover certain Islanders games.

The Penguins get the rights to develop something called Melody Tent. We don't think you'll be able to hold your kid's graduation party there though.


MORE NHL AWARDS

One NHL award we forgot to comment on was the King Clancy Award. It usually goes to a high profile player that does work with charities or community groups. Like the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, this isn't an award that has three finalists. It is just awarded.

So were going to take a completely blind stab in the dark and guess it goes to Sabres center Daniel Briere. He does work with Camp Good Days, an organization that deals with children whose lives have been affected by cancer. Briere raises funds for the camp through his Web site BriereBunch.com.



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