Mike Keenan will revitalize his coaching career for the next two years as head coach of Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian based KHL. The two year contract will give Iron Mike a chance at a championship in the fourth different league he’s coached in.
Keenan has been coaching at some level since 1979-80. He coached in the NHL from 1984-85 to 2008-09 with eight different teams: Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames. He was awarded the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 1984-85, his first year in the league.
Robertson Cup – Peterborough Petes - OHL
Keenan coached in the Ontario Hockey League for just one season. He led the Peterborough Petes to a first overall finish during the regular season, earning the team the Hamilton Spectator Trophy. A major player on the Petes that season was Larry Murphy who is now enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Peterborough met the Sudbury Wolves in the quarter-finals and won the series in six games. Over the next two rounds, the Petes did not lose a game. In the semi-finals, they swept the Ottawa 67’s. In the finals, they swept the Windsor Spitfires to capture the Robertson Cup championship.
The Petes then went on to compete in the Memorial Cup tournament. Peterborough reached the championship final against the Dale Hawerchuk led Cornwall Royals of the QMJHL. The Petes went down 3-2 in overtime.
Calder Cup – Rochester Americans – AHL
Following his year in Peterborough, Mike Keenan moved up to the American Hockey League and was head coach of the Rochester Americans for three years from 1980-81 to 1982-83. In the third year, the Americans finished first in the Southern Division and first overall in the 13 team AHL with 46 wins and 101 points.
In the playoffs, Rochester met up with the Binghamton Whalers in the quarter-finals, four games to one. In the semis, it took the full seven games to eliminate the New Haven Nighthawks. In the Calder Cup finals, the Americans swept the Maine Mariners to capture the Calder Cup.
In the playoffs, Rochester was offensively by J.F. Sauve with 28 points in 16 games. In 1979-80, Sauve led the QMJHL with 187 points playing for the Trois Rivieres Draveurs.
Stanley Cup – New York Rangers – NHL
After three unsuccessful visits to the finals, twice with Philadelphia and once with Chicago, Mike Keenan finally won a Stanley Cup in 1993-94 with the Rangers. It was his only year coaching in New York.
New York finished first in the Atlantic Division and first overall in the NHL with 52 wins and 112 points. In the first round of the playoffs, the Rangers rolled over their cross-town rivals, the New York Islanders. The series was a sweep and the Rangers outscored their opponents 22-3 in the four games.
The second round saw a matchup with the Washington Capitals. The Rangers lost their first playoff game in 1994 but won the series in five games. Round three was tough with the New Jersey Devils pushing New York to seven games before conceding defeat. It was another full seven game series in the finals as the Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks to win their first Stanley Cup since 1941.