Sunday, September 03, 2006


Mike Keenan Out; Stephane Matteau's Employment Prospects Dwindle

Well, gosh. This isn't anything that I was expecting. I only sporadically hear any note of the Panthers from our friends to the south, but nothing seemed to indicate the discontent that was simmering (and at this point, the Miami Herald only has an AP story up on Keenan's firing resignation departure).

Compared to some other stops, Keenan conducted himself in a relatively sane manner -- yeah, he dealt away his franchise goaltender, but actually got something of use in return, and aside from Belfour/Roberts/Nieuwendyk, he resisted his ever-present urge to pick up graybeards.

In fact, he leaves a pretty good young core. The defense is very young; I'd be the oldest member, the contemplation of which makes me need to sit down and have a stiff drink. The offense is centered around a player in his prime, Jokinen (and Bertuzzi, if his head's on straight), and has a few top-notch prospects in Olesz and Horton. I can't see them contending this year, and probably taking a step back, but being an energetic team and finding themselves in the mix a year or two down the line.

As for Keenan, what next? It'll probably be a few days before we know what the deal here is (longer, if the Herald beat reporters are taking a long weekend), but this marks a second straight stop where Iron Mike has, at least publicly, behaved like someone with their screws more or less tight. If he bounced here, what's left?

I'm shocked by this as well. Keenan apparently had the owners' in his pocket for some time and was actually acting somewhat sane. Perhaps the Luongo contract fiasco was what did him in? I dunno, but I know I don't feel sorry for Keenan.

As for the Panthers...they promoted Jock Martin to GM now? Why? Ugh... stupid stupid stupid. How do Hockey clubs continue to be run like this?
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