For the life of me, I can’t understand why teams aren’t lining up around the block for Keenan. He’s just what Steve Mason needs, am I right?
Apparently Mike Keenan articles are an annual feature here at Thrashing the Blues. Last year I stumbled across some depressing stuff from Sports Illustrated’s archives. This year at least the Keenan news isn’t depressing. Frankly, I found it quite entertaining. In an interview with NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, Keenan looks towards resurgant old farts Ken Hitchcock and Jaques Lemaire as examples of why old school is better.
“There’s something to be said about young coaches, but there’s also something to be said for experience,” Keenan said. “You look at the veteran coaches who had the greatest impact in the last two years. Who were they? Hitchcock in St. Louis, and last year it was (Jacques) Lemaire in (New) Jersey. These are two guys, both in their 60s, that had the most impact on the teams and they came in as replacement coaches.
“I would venture a guess that the New Jersey Devils would have made the playoffs if Jacques was there all season. That’s not a negative comment on John (MacLean); he was just very inexperienced. And I have no idea why they got rid of Hitchcock in Columbus.”
Fair points all. Where Keenan doesn’t make a fair point about is why he is cut from the same cloth as the aforementioned coaches. Sure, he has some words of praise from Jeremy Roenick, who says that Keenan’s a different coach than he was five years ago.
“He’s an extremely smart guy, an extremely smart coach, and he’s a motivator. But I think he’s become a player-friendly motivator. I’m with him a lot and he’s like a father-figure to me, and I know his passion to try to get back into the game.”
Roenick gathers that from being analysts with Keenan on NBC. Which is exactly the same as being a player in his current system… which Keenan doesn’t have.
Brian Leech was coached by Keenan when the New York Rangers won the 1994 Stanley Cup.
“They understand a lot about the team and the dynamics. Any smart coach learns from experience, from positive things as well as the negatives. He’s got both in his career.”
Well, considering the players he’s driven away from teams and goaltenders he’s chewed up and spat out, one has to wonder where this positive new experience Keenan’s been having has been coming from. He’s never gotten a chance to show that he’s adapted to the new NHL, but Keenan might just be one of those players who is incapable of adaptation. If his players wouldn’t do it for him, how can he do it for his players?