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Archive for Thursday, October 26, 2000

Bruins tab Keenan coach

Boston gives boot to Burns, turns to disciplinarian

October 26, 2000

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— The Boston Bruins fired head coach Pat Burns on Wednesday. Mired in a four-game losing streak, the Bruins turned to the ever-volcanic Mike Keenan.

"I don't have a whole lot of patience for average performances," Keenan said when asked about the reputation he developed as a coach with five previous NHL teams.

"I think that there (has to be) an expectation for players to challenge themselves. If you don't ask for it, you don't get it."

Keenan, 51, was considered for the job when the Bruins fired Steve Kasper in 1997. But Boston hired Burns and Keenan went to Vancouver, lasting less than two seasons before he was fired.

While working the last 11/2 seasons as a radio broadcaster in Toronto, Keenan worried whether he'd ever get another chance to coach. What's worse: He had no players around to take out his frustrations on. "I've had to deal with myself every single day," he joked, "and that's a difficult task."

Keenan becomes only the third coach in NHL history to have coached half of the "Original Six" teams; Dick Irvin was the first, and Burns was the second.

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