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Keenan joins elite 600-win club

Sunday, 16.12.2007 / 8:38 PM / News
By Mike Board  - CF.com Digital Content Director
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Keenan joins elite 600-win club
Mike Keenan joined the 600-win club Sunday as the Calgary Flames defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-3.

"It means you have had the chance to hang around a long time and coach good teams and good players," said Keenan.

Following the game captain Jarome Iginla collected the puck as a keepsake for Keenan.

In his 19th year as a head coach in the NHL, Keenan reached the plateau and joined an elite group of only six men ever to achieve the mark of 600.

He remains 6th all time in NHL wins behind only Scotty Bowman (1244), Al Arbour (781), Dick Irvin (692), Pat Quinn (657) and Bryan Murray (607). Only Bowman and Arbour reached 600 coaching victories at a younger age than the 58-year-old Keenan.

Keenan became the 13th head coach in Calgary Flames history on June 14, 2007.

During his 18 prior years behind the bench in the NHL, Keenan led his teams to the Finals on four occasions capturing the Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994.

He was named winner of the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL Coach of the Year in 1985 after leading the Philadelphia Flyers to the Cup Final during his rookie season. He has a 160-91-69 (.569) record during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. His 91 playoff victories position him 5th on the all-time list.

The native of Bowmanville, ON began his coaching career with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL in 1980 and guided the Petes to the Memorial Cup Final. The following year he moved to the professional ranks with the Rochester Americans, which he led to an American Hockey League Calder Cup Championship in 1983.

For the 1983-84 season, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Toronto, and coached the Varsity Blues to the CIAU title. Following back-to-back championship campaigns, he was offered his first NHL coaching position with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Success followed Keenan with two trips to the Stanley Cup Finals during his four years in Philadelphia. Keenan signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1988 and within four seasons guided the Hawks to their first Finals appearance in 19 years.

In 1993, he assumed the position as New York Rangers head coach, and led the franchise to its first Stanley Cup title since 1940. Keenan has also coached the St. Louis Blues (1994-96), Vancouver Canucks (1997-98), and Boston Bruins (2000-01).

He was named head coach of the Florida Panthers on December 3, 2001 before becoming the Panthers General Manager on May 26, 2004.

His resume includes three President’s Trophies, six division titles, three All-Star Games, three 50 plus win seasons and five 100 plus point seasons.

As Canada’s National Team Head Coach in 1987 and 1991, Keenan led Team Canada to two Canada Cup titles. His international coaching career also includes the 1980 World Junior Championships and the 1993 World Championships.

Mike and his wife, Nola, have three children: Gayla, Grant and Reed.