We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting the days until the Chicago Blackhawks 2014 Season kicks off. We’re going to do a Top 100 list of all time Chicago Blackhawks. It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down Memory Lane.
keenan_hawks_sl_features(picture courtesy of grantland.com AP Photo/John Swart)
Mike Keenan 1989-1993
Mike Keenan is a legend period! Keenan is a winner and he wins wherever he lands including last seasons KHL Championship, but the problem is Keenan wears out his welcome faster and quicker than most greats are allotted. Keenan pushes his team and the franchise hard to win and the relationship breaks very quickly, with Keenan longest stops having been in Philadelphia where he went to the Finals twice and Chicago which he took to the Finals in 1992 and both early in his coaching career. He won his only Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers and that was his only season in the Big Apple
Keenan took over the Hawks in the late 80’s and his demanding style shaped the career of Jeremy Roenick the most, forming him into one of the best players of his era. Keenan also after a rocky start won over Steve Larmer and his style fit well with Keenan and it was Keenan that helped Larmer win his only Cup with the Rangers too in 1994.
Keenan’s won the President’s Trophy with the best record in 1991 but got bested in the first round of the playoffs by the Minnesota North Stars, but it was quickly forgotten when the team made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992. Keenan and the Hawks were rolling when they reached the Finals but ran into the buzz saw that was the Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins and the saddest moment ever happened in Game 4 with the Penguins skating around the Chicago Stadium ice with Stanley Cup.
Keenan thought he would have more front office power, but Bob Pulford wouldn’t relinquish the power and Keenan stay was over just like that in Chicago.
It was a short great stay in Chicago and one of the greatest coaches we have ever seen on the bench in Chicag0!
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I’m sure everyone has stories and memories of Keenan, what’s your favorite?
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