Keenan hopes for NHL return

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:09 PM ET

TORONTO Mike Keenan is enjoying life as a TV analyst, but is not ready to close the book on his NHL coaching career.

Fired last season by the Calgary Flames, despite guiding his injury-laden team to the Western Conference quarterfinals for the second consecutive year, Keenan said he certainly would accept a coaching position in the NHL if the right opportunity arose.

I definitely still have a lot of interest in the profession, said Keenan, who guided the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994. I think I still have something to offer to a hockey club. Im not to the point where I feel Im retired. Im way too young to be retired.

Keenan, 60, admitted that being fired by the now-struggling Flames still stings.

I was disappointed about being fired and disappointed about the rationale, he said. We had a very good season, we ran into some very critical injuries to some players who had some long-term, serious disabilities. And then we ran into cap problems, where we had issues of (not being able to) ice appropriate number of players.

"It hasnt happened in 50 years where any team in the NHL played three players short. I was the only coach who was fired that made the playoffs. It just didnt make a lot of sense to me because I thought our team was progressing quite nicely.

No hard feelings

Former Flames star Theo Fleury was upset over being cut by the team during his comeback attempt earlier this season, but no longer harbours ill-will towards the organization.

Im still a fan of the Flames, Fleury said. In my heart, I guess, I feel for them. Part of the reason I wanted to come back was Ive been watching the team for six years, and I see them struggle at different times and maybe felt I could contribute in some sort of way. But they obviously chose to go in some different direction and thats fine with me.

The fact that the underachieving Flames are struggling is not a source of schadenfreude to Fleury.

Just like Catriona

Olympic ice queen Catriona Le May Doan spends her retirement raising her family, doing motivational speaking, broadcasting (including the Vancouver Games), and mentoring athletes, including freestyle skier Jenn Heil, who will attempt to defend her Olympic moguls title next month.

We chat on the phone quite a bit. I love the fact that, from my experiences, other athletes can learn, said Le May Doan, adding that Heil is a lot like she was when she was winning Olympic and world championship speedskating titles.

She is grounded. She is a really solid person and thats why shes had the success, Le May Doan said. Were very similar. Shes a little internal, she doesnt always let out exactly how shes feeling. But Ill say anything to her, and shell tell me anything.


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