A KHL title — complete with awkward karaoke celebration — doesn’t have Mike Keenan thinking about another head-coaching job in the NHL.
“I actually never thought about it and I don’t think about it anymore,” Keenan told CBC.ca yesterday. “People had an opportunity to hire me before and they didn’t.
“I was out [of coaching] for about three years and doing TV, and when the opportunity to coach in Russia came along, I took some time to think about it and then decided to do it. [Metallurg Magnitogorsk] want me back, and at this point that’s the only option I have.”
Keenan, 64, had varying degrees of success during his eight separate head-coaching stints in the world’s top league — he won the Jack Adams with the 1984-85 Flyers and the Stanley Cup with the 1993-94 Rangers, but he was less successful in St. Louis, Vancouver, Boston and Florida.
Related: Here’s the NHL’s coaching vacancy landscape
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…