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The Big 6-0-0

Keenan2MONTREAL -- Greetings from the old Spanish city where the temperature is expected to drop to minus 12 tonight.

And that's Fahrenheit my friend, not some wimpy minus-12 Celsius.

Hope all you folks bundled up in South Florida (low today: 53) read that minus-12 and shivered a bit. And then felt bad for me because I'm here braving this frozen tundra for you, the loyal hockey reader of The Miami Herald.

Truth be told, I kinda like it. Went walking around town today, did some window shopping. Couldn't do any real shopping, what with the Montreal prices about as obscene as their temps. Went into Foot Locker and saw a nice pair of Nike Shox. Being a Nike guy who likes finding deals, I checked the price tag. No deal here! They were $215 CA.

And that doesn't count all the different Canadian taxes you have to pay, like: Provincial tax, General Services tax, Nike Shox being misspelled tax, me being from Florida tax, a 'Jeffrey Loria ruined the Expos and you Floridians are paying for it' tax, the 'hey, you're not David J. Neal' tax, and of course, the 'you've been speaking English and not French since you walked in, so we're tossing on another Province tax' tax.

All told, those Nikes would have cost about $575 in U.S. dollars. I passed, only because they wanted to charge me an additional tax for using my Visa card instead of a MasterCard.

-- Back to the original topic: Congratulations are in order to Mike Keenan, who became only the sixth coach in NHL history to win 600 games. Keenan did it last night, and did it in one of his old cities. This one: St. Louis.

Got to hand it to Keenan and the Flames, they are playing some real good -- I mean, real good -- hockey right now. The new top line of Jarome Iginla, Kristian Huselius and Daymond Langcow have been brutally unstoppable. And five wins to kick off a six game road trip? That's sick.

-- PSA for the Panthers: The good folks at the Panthers Foundation are selling autographed pucks and mini sticks just in time to give as stocking stuffers or as 'official' Christmas gifts if you get the right player. Seriously. You get an Olli Jokinen or Tomas Vokoun or George Richards autograph, and that one you're wrapping up and getting full credit for. That don't go in the stocking.

Here's the deal. The fund raiser will be at Saturday's Leafs game. Mystery sticks are $30; pucks are $20. Get one autographed in gold and you keep the puck/stick and get an additional prize. All money goes to charity, so get a couple. Tell 'em Uncle George sent ya.

-- Minus 12 people. Wrap your mind around that for a minute. MINUS TWELVE...

-- Speaking of being cold, had lunch today in what used to be a castle. Had the rotisserie chicken. Figure that's what they ate back in castle times.

-- When it's too cold to walk to Timmies, you know it's cold.

-- In hockey news, Cory Murphy is expected to be back for tomorrow's practice and may play against the Canadiens. Actually, I made that up. I have no new news on Murph the Surf. He's not here, he hasn't practiced, so I can't see him playing until after Christmas, maybe even after New Years.

-- Good thing the Panthers aren't playing Friday what with FAU being in the Nawlins Bowl. Hoot Owl, Hoot!