It has been more than three years since Mike Keenan last served as coach of an NHL team. His up-and-down run involving eight teams over 25 years ended in 2009, when he led the Calgary Flames to their last Stanley Cup Playoff appearance.
But after an eventful summer, the man known as "Iron Mike" is still hoping for another shot in the NHL.
For Keenan, things picked up markedly in April, when he was announced as the new coach of the Canadian hockey team for the 2013 Maccabiah Games, an international sporting event in Israel in which thousands of Jewish athletes representing dozens of countries compete in more than 30 sports. For Keenan, whose ex-wife is Jewish and whose daughter was raised in the faith, it was a unique opportunity.
"I have a real sense of the faith and the people. My mother-in-law escaped Auschwitz [concentration camp] and I went to Auschwitz in 1972 and had conversations with her after that," Keenan told NHL.com. "My involvement is deeper than hockey. That's a large reason why I wanted to get involved."