Sports Outside the Beltway

Calgary Flames fire Coach Mike Keenan

He lasted just two years at his latest NHL head coaching job. From AP-

Mike Keenan was fired as coach of the Calgary Flames on Friday, almost a month after his team lost in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year.

Keenan spent just two seasons with Calgary, and general manager Darryl Sutter said expectations were not met.

“Taking into consideration all factors affecting our season-ending result, we believe this is a necessary change required to allow our team to continue toward our objective of winning the Stanley Cup,” Sutter said.

The Flames finished the regular season with 46 wins and 98 points, but they were ousted in the first round in six games by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Keenan, who had one year remaining on his contract, said following the playoff loss to Chicago that he believed he would be back to finish his deal.

“I have another year left on my contract,” Keenan said. “My expectation is to be here to fulfill my contract.”

Keenan was hired as the Flames coach in June 2007, replacing Jim Playfair. He leaves Calgary with an 88-60-16 regular-season record. His 672 victories rank fourth on the career coaching list.

Keenan has coached 8(Philadelphia, Chicago, the New York Rangers, St. Louis, Vancouver, Boston and Florida. Only with the NY Rangers in 1994 did he win a Stanley Cup) of the 30 teams in the NHL. I’d be willing to make a small wager he is coaching a 9th before 2010 is over.

As for Keenan’s firing, the Western is the strongest of the two NHL conferences. Calgary is a good team, but Detroit and San Jose are better for sure, with Chicago and Vancouver arguably better than the Flames. Without knowing more, Keenan may be a victim of unrealistic expectations.

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