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Keenan to Do Junior Hockey Commentary

September 20, 1997| From Bloomberg News Service

Toronto — Mike Keenan will be involved in hockey this year, although it could be a long way from the National Hockey League.

The former NHL coach has agreed to serve as a commentator for the St. Michael's Majors, a Toronto-based junior hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League, until he's hired by an NHL team or a national sports network, said Majors President Dennis Mills.

Keenan has volunteered to work on the team's broadcasts and won't be paid, Mills said.

While Keenan tried to become a coach this season, he didn't have much luck. He expressed interest in 10 coaching vacancies and interviewed with the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens, his agent Rob Campbell said. Yet, when the NHL season opens Oct. 1, Keenan won't be behind a bench -- for the first time in his 12-year NHL coaching career.

St. Michael's games are broadcast by Rogers Cablesystems Limited, Canada's largest cable network operator, which can be seen in approximately 2.2 million households in Ontario and British Columbia.

Keenan is also talking with ESPN and Fox Sports about becoming an NHL commentator this season, Campbell said. Keenan worked as a commentator for the Canadian sports network, TSN, in 1992 after he was fired as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks.

He was fired as coach and general manager of the St. Louis Blues in December.

Keenan coached the 1993-94 New York Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. He also led the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals twice and Blackhawks once. He has a career record of 417-318-99.

ESPN and Fox share the NHL's national television broadcast rights. ESPN and ESPN2 will televise 102 games this season as well as some of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Fox is scheduled to air 10 weeks of regional broadcasts and some Stanley Cup playoff games

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