Iron Mike fans the Flames

ERIC FRANCIS

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

Darryl Sutter shocked many in the hockey world in June when he announced Mike Keenan would replace Jim Playfair as head coach of the Calgary Flames.

As one of the most controversial coaches in league lore, Iron Mike has raised eyebrows for everything from refusing to dress his players in gaudy third jerseys (St. Louis) to his penchant for pulling goalies. In the midst of introducing himself to players on his eighth NHL club, Iron Mike took time to chat about the perils of moving, what he hopes to change about the Flames and why he's become such a big fan of the New England Patriots.

Sun Media: What's the biggest misnomer out there about you as a coach?

Keenan: I've worked in the media so I know what the conversations would be that suggest I don't have a compassionate side or sensitive side to their personal needs.

Sun Media: Tell me about your media experience -- was our job as easy as you thought it was?

Keenan: Much easier. (For the record, he laughed). It's taught me a lot about what the needs of the media are and how through conversation the media can find out what the needs of a coach are.

Sun Media: What did you prefer -- TV or writing?

Keenan: One thing about the TV is it makes you stay on top of the league. You can't go on national TV and not be aware of what's happening with every team. When you're coaching you focus more on your team, your farm team and the teams in your division and conference.

Sun Media: Biggest thing you'd like to see changed with the Flames?

Keenan: In a broad comment, it's to go deeper in the playoffs. But specifically I can't give you a fair comment right now ... I don't even know the players.

Sun Media: Who are some of the players you've coached who've shocked you and the rest of the NHL in their first year.

Keenan: Every place you find somebody. In Chicago, it was Jeremy Roenick and Ed Belfour. There was Dominik Hasek and finding Pavol Demitra who was an all-star playing in the minors. In Philly, Rick Tocchet, Murray Craven, Peter Zezel and Derrick Smith helped get us to the finals.

Sun Media: As someone who has moved around a bit -- what's the key to a successful move?

Keenan: Having your wife do all the work. (Again, he laughed.)

Sun Media: What's the first thing you look for when you move to a new city? A Starbucks, a gym, a pub?

Keenan: A good location that serves you well when you have free time. For me, it was being close to exercise paths and a small part of the town.

Sun Media: Biggest hockey highlight?

Keenan: Probably winning a Stanley Cup in New York. I've had some great moments like winning the 1987 Canada Cup -- I don't know if it gets any bigger country-wide in terms of expectations.

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QUICK HITS WITH MIKE KEENAN

Q. Do you own an iPod?

A. I don't.

Q. What kind of cell phone do you have?

A. A Blackberry.

Q. Cash or credit card?

A. Credit card most often, but I carry cash.

Q. Do you collect air miles?

A. On my Visa, yes.

Q. Favourite sport to watch outside hockey.

A. The NFL because of my wife -- she loves the Patriots.

Q. Worst part about moving?

A. Packing and unpacking.

Q. Favourite road city to visit.

A. Chicago because my daughter lives there.


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