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Keenan Shows Interest in Taking Over Bruins

May 04, 1997|From Associated Press

Former St. Louis general manager-coach Mike Keenan has met with Boston Bruin officials about their vacant coaching job and said the team intrigued him, according to published reports.

"I'm extremely interested in the Boston situation," Keenan said in reports published Saturday. "It's a great opportunity and it would certainly be a challenge for any coach.

"I have a great respect for the franchise and the history of the franchise as well as the ownership and the fans."

Keenan met with Bruin assistant general manager Mike O'Connell on Thursday before O'Connell left for the World Hockey Championships at Helsinki. He said the two probably would talk again next week when O'Connell returned.

General Manager Harry Sinden said talks with Keenan began several weeks ago when he and O'Connell were in Florida. Sinden said he was not concerned that Keenan would want a management role in addition to the coaching duties.

"I don't think there's any doubt he's first, and foremost, a coach," Sinden said. "If we offered him the job, and the terms were right, I think that's all he's interested in."

Sinden, who is launching a youth movement, also said of Keenan, "He has a good background working with young players both in Philadelphia and Chicago."

Keenan has a record of 470-318-99 with the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.

His teams were in the Stanley Cup finals four times, and in 1994 he led the Rangers to their first championship in 54 years.

The Bruins didn't make the playoffs this season for the first time in 30 years, costing Steve Kasper his job.

The Bruins also have been talking to Boston University Coach Jack Parker, who was believed to be the leading candidate. Sinden has said four candidates are being considered, but only Parker and Keenan have been identified.

Keenan is not employed after being fired by St. Louis this year.

Asked about Keenan's reputation, Sinden said, "His career has been dotted with controversy, but very little of it has been around the way his team played or the way he coaches."

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