Mike Keenan is one of the more controversial and perhaps one of the most disliked head coaches in NHL history.
After all, he didn’t get his nickname, “Iron Mike” for nothing. Despite his somewhat rocky reputation, Keenan still led the Blackhawks through a period in which they saw a decent amount of success.
While his first season as head coach in Chicago saw an abysmal 27 wins, Keenan was able to consistently pick up the pace year after year beyond that. Just two years later, in 1991, the Blackhawks posted a .663 points percentage and were just one win shy of 50 victories on the season. The next year, Keenan led the team to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1973, though they were quickly swept by Mario Lemieux and the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins.
In general, Keenan is seen as one of the more consequential coaches in the history of the Blackhawks. While his contribution in terms of championships may never have come to fruition, Keenan still took the team to a place that they hadn’t been in a long time and is still considered one of the best to ever step behind the bench in Chicago.
While he may have never been what the Blackhawks wanted him to be, they still have plenty of reasons to be thankful that Iron Mike was one of their head coaches.