Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
New York Rangers
St. Louis Blues
Kunlun Red Star
|Stanley Cup wins||1994|
|Years as a coach||1984-present|
|Years as an NHL coach||1984-2009|
Michael Edward Keenan (born October 21, 1949) is a Canadian professional hockey coach who most recently coached the HC Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League. Previously, he served as head coach and/or General Manager with several NHL teams between 1984 and 2009. He has also worked as an analyst for the New York Rangers on MSG Network and as a hockey analyst for NBC Sports Network.
His first coaching job was at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ontario, where he coached the varsity hockey team. In 1977 he became the coach of the Oshawa Legionaires of the Metro Junior B Hockey League, where he led them to back-to-back championships in 1979 and 1980. The following year he began his junior coaching career with the Peterborough Petes before moving on to the Rochester Americans, which he guided to the American Hockey League championship in 1983. He returned to University of Toronto to lead it to the CIAU title. He then landed his first high-profile job with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1984, then the Chicago Blackhawks in 1988. In 1993, he took the job as New York Rangers head coach, and led the franchise to its first Stanley Cup win since 1940. Prior to the 1993 season, he was also a candidate for the Detroit Red Wings head coaching job that eventually went to Scotty Bowman.
The 1994 season saw Keenan become the first to coach two different teams to a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals, having previously coached the Flyers in a losing effort against the Edmonton Oilers in 1987. He was followed in this feat in 2009 by Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings. In winning the 1994 Stanley Cup, Keenan managed to avoid becoming the first coach in NHL history to lose Game 7s with two different teams (the fate which would befall Babcock in losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins.).
After leaving the Rangers Keenan went on to serve as coach and general manager of the St. Louis Blues (1994-96), and coached the Vancouver Canucks (1997-98), and the Boston Bruins (2000-01). He was named head coach of the Florida Panthers on December 3, 2001, before becoming its General Manager. On September 3, 2006, Keenan resigned his position and was replaced by head coach Jacques Martin.
On April 24, 2007 Keenan would take his next role as Senior Advisor to the Swedish Ice Hockey Association. This role would not last long as he was named head coach of the Calgary Flames on June 14, 2007. Keenan would go on to pass Pat Quinn for 4th on the all time NHL coach win list (648 wins) on February 12, 2009.
Currently, he is fifth all time in National Hockey League wins. Keenan's teams never missed the playoffs until 1998. His tough coaching style and attitude towards his players have earned him the nickname "Iron Mike".
On May 22, 2009, after two consecutive first round playoff losses, Keenan was fired as Head Coach of the Calgary Flames, he had one year left on his contract. He recorded his 600th win as an NHL coach with the Flames.
On Thursday, October 1, 2009, MSG Network announced Keenan would join the Rangers MSG Network broadcast team of Sam Rosen, Joe Micheletti, Al Trautwig, John Giannone, Dave Maloney, and Ron Duguay as a regular guest analyst for pre-game, intermission, and post-game reports on the network. He's also an analyst on MSG Hockey Night Live with Trautwig, Duguay, Maloney, Ken Daneyko, and Butch Goring.
Despite Keenan's coaching record, his inability to maintain working relationships with players and team organizations has resulted in a lack of long term coaching positions. His coaching resume includes abrupt terminations or resignations from coaching or general manager positions, sometimes at bafflingly inopportune, or peak, moments of his career.
Keenan was dismissed from the Philadelphia Flyers a year after leading them to the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals. After taking the Chicago Blackhawks to the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals, Keenan was forced to focus solely on his GM duties when longtime Blackhawk player and assistant coach, Darryl Sutter, was being courted by other teams to be their head coach. Owner Bill Wirtz did not want to lose Sutter, especially since Keenan had stated, in July, 1992, that he wished to focus solely on his duties as general manager after the 92-93 season. Keenan lost a power struggle with Senior V.P. Bob Pulford after the 1992-93 season, resigned his position, and was soon hired by the New York Rangers. Keenan managed to coach the Rangers to the Stanley Cup in his first and only year as head coach, but was unable to coexist long enough with general manager Neil Smith and resigned weeks later, citing a violation of his contract by the Rangers.
Stops in St. Louis and Vancouver saw conflict with team stars; both Brett Hull and Trevor Linden had major personality conflicts with Keenan. In one instance while the Blues were playing the Buffalo Sabres at the The Aud, Dale Hawerchuk dying grandmother who lived nearby came to see him play one last time while she was alive, Kennan deliberately benched Hawerchuk for the game and captain Brett Hull was unhappy about that, he screamed at Keenan and he responded by stripping Brett Hull's captaincy.
In September 2006, Keenan again attracted headlines when he abruptly resigned as general manager of the Florida Panthers. Keenan's resignation came shortly after he dealt Florida Panthers' franchise goaltender Roberto Luongo along with defenceman Lukas Krajicek and Florida's 2006 sixth-round draft pick (Sergei Shirokov) to the Vancouver Canucks for struggling forward Todd Bertuzzi, goaltender Alex Auld, and defenceman Bryan Allen. It was speculated that Keenan had lost a power struggle with head coach and longtime friend, Jacques Martin, over personnel decisions. Martin succeeded him as general manager upon his resignation.
Keenan was also notorious for pulling or switching his goaltenders, sometimes multiple times in a period. In game 4 of the first round of the 1987 playoffs, Keenan pulled goaltenders, Ron Hextall and Glenn Resch, a total of five times in a single game (the fifth time to gain a man-advantage in the last minute of play).
Goaltender Roberto Luongo said the following regarding Keenan's penchant for pulling his goaltenders while a member of the Florida Panthers in 2002:
On May 13, 2013 Keenan signed a contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of KHL. On April 30, 2014 Keenan's Metallurg team won the KHL championship with a game seven victory over HC Lev Praha. In winning the team's first Gagarin Cup, Keenan became both the first North American coach to win a KHL championship and the first coach to win both the Gagarin Cup and the Stanley Cup. On October 17, 2015, Keenan was fired by Magnitogorsk.
On March 16, 2017, Keenan was announced as the new head coach of HC Kunlun Red Star, the KHL's first Chinese based team. After a disappointing start to the 2017-18 season, Keenan was fired by Kunlun Red Star on December 3, 2017.
Derek Keenan, the head coach and General Manager of the Saskatchewan Rush of the National Lacrosse League, is Keenan's third cousin. Derek's wife, Wendy, is a sister of Hockey Hall of Famer, Joe Nieuwendyk.
Regular season points (Pts) contained in brackets denote the team's standing after the full season, not the amount of points accrued at the time Keenan was fired.
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|PHI||1984-85||80||53||20||7||-||113||1st in Patrick Division||12||7||.632||Runner-up|
|PHI||1985-86||80||53||23||4||-||110||1st in Patrick Division||2||3||.400||Preliminary round|
|PHI||1986-87||80||46||26||8||-||100||1st in Patrick Division||15||11||.577||Runner up|
|PHI||1987-88||80||38||33||9||-||85||2nd in Patrick Division||3||4||.429||Division semi-finalist|
|PHI Total||320||190||102||28||-||408||32||25||.561||4 playoff appearances|
|CHI||1988-89||80||27||41||12||-||66||4th in Norris Division||9||7||.563||Conference finalist|
|CHI||1989-90||80||41||33||6||-||88||1st in Norris Division||10||10||.500||Conference finalist|
|CHI||1990-91||80||49||23||8||-||106||1st in Norris Division||2||4||.333||Division semi-finalist|
|CHI||1991-92||80||36||29||15||-||87||2nd in Norris Division||12||6||.667||Runner up|
|CHI Total||320||153||126||41||-||347||33||27||.550||4 playoff appearances|
|NYR||1993-94||84||52||24||8||-||112||1st in Atlantic||16||7||.696||Won Stanley Cup|
|NYR Total||84||52||24||8||-||112||16||7||.696||1 playoff appearance
1 Stanley Cup Championship
|STL||1994-95||48||29||15||5||-||63||2nd in Central||3||4||.429||Conference quarter-finalist|
|STL||1995-96||82||32||34||16||-||80||4th in Central||7||6||.538||Conference semi-finalist|
|STL||1996-97||33||15||17||1||-||(83)||4th in Central||-||-||-||(Fired)|
|STL Total||163||75||66||22||-||172||10||10||.500||2 playoff appearances|
|VAN||1997-98||63||21||30||12||-||(64)||7th in Pacific||-||-||-||Missed playoffs|
|VAN||1998-99||45||15||24||6||-||(58)||4th in Northwest||-||-||-||(Fired)|
|BOS||2000-01||74||33||26||7||8||81||4th in Northeast||-||-||-||Missed Playoffs|
|FLA||2001-02||56||16||29||8||3||(60)||4th in Southeast||-||-||-||Missed playoffs|
|FLA||2002-03||82||24||36||13||9||70||4th in Southeast||-||-||-||Missed playoffs|
|FLA||2003-04||15||5||8||2||0||(75)||4th in Southeast||-||-||-||(Resigned)|
|CGY||2007-08||82||42||30||-||10||94||3rd in Northwest||3||4||.429||Conference quarter-finalist|
|CGY||2008-09||82||46||30||-||6||98||2nd in Northwest||2||4||.333||Conference quarter-finalist|
|CGY Total||164||88||60||-||16||192||5||8||.385||2 playoff appearances|
|MMG||2013-14||54||35||11||-||8||108||1st in Kharlamov||16||5||.762||Won Gagarin Cup|
|MMG Total||54||35||11||-||8||108||16||5||.762||1 playoff appearance
1 Gagarin Cup Championship
The Penguins...beat the defending champion Detroit Red Wings 2-1...in Game 7 and win the Stanley Cup for the third time...In 2003...the last series in which the home team won all seven games...the Mighty Ducks team that lost then was coached by current Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock.