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Panthers vs. Keenan

Keenansun Well, now it's official: Mike Keenan is back in the NHL (he's aiming to hit all 30 franchises) as the new coach of the Calgary Flames.

Mike had a lot of good things to say at his press conference today at the Saddledome, but that was expected. Mike Keenan never saw a press conference he didn't like. He's never met a microphone he didn't fall in love with.

This isn't official, but Keenan's first official game as coach of the Flames should come Sept. 16 at the Saddledome against the Panthers. Florida hasn't announced its preseason schedule yet, but we do know they are going to play the Flames on Sept. 18 in Saskatoon. Want tickets? Click here: WHAT'S A CREDIT UNION CENTRE?

I'm hearing the Panthers are going to play on Sunday in Calgary (the 16th), then move up the road to Edmonton for a date with the Oilers on Sept. 17 before heading to Saskatoon.

-- PS: According to a Swedish newspaper, Kristian Huselius says he and Keenan can co-exist in Calgary next season.

-- Speaking of fun, TicketMaster is said to be taking deposits in Hamilton, Ontario, for the expected relocation of the Nashville Predators in time for the 2008-09 season. So, instead of getting to party in Music City, we get to go to Hamilton. Go Tiger-Cats.

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Amazing that Huselius and Keenan can co-exist. That was Keenan that wanted Huselius out so bad that he put him on waivers and ultimately traded him for Montador. As typical with Panther deals...Huselius goes on to have a great season and Montador is a #6 defenseman (most likely will not make the fall squad). Have to wonder...will Keenan be interested in trading Huselius back to the Panthers for Montador? No way...Flames won that deal and Panthers lose again.

We fans called him "hurricane Mike", and he did more damage to our Panther team's heart than any of the actual hurricanes we've had. Remember the Roberto Luongo trade? That was Keenan's ego...he couldn't stand having a player that stood up to him. He's a has been who can't get along with young players and puts a stake into the heart of players. He likes the big hitters, and rags on the smaller, faster skill players. Doesn't seem like his style is a fit with the new NHL. He'll get some immediate improvements by intimidation, but that doesn't lead to long-term positive chemistry in the room. Just to exits by players.

He sounds good…his statements about ending his career in Calgary and liking the people even while he brutalizes them on the ice were the same statements made in Florida. There are a number of players that he pushed out the door that have bloomed with other teams.

The ones who have been on Stanley Cup winning teams are Kevyn Adams, Dan Boyle, Matt Cullen, Bret Hedican, Vinnie Prospal and Ray Whitney. Others who have played much better after Keenan moved them out are Scott Mellanby, Andreas Lilja, Roberto Luongo, Kristen Huselius, and Victor Kozlov. Want more names than that? Not all are 20 goal scorers or superstars, but they've flourished and been valued contributors elsewhere. Three of those Keenan pushed out now play for Calgary...wonder if they'll last through training camp (Huselius, Nilson, Ritchie).

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