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Question and Answer with Mike Keenan

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

It was officially announced Thursday that Mike Keenan would become head coach of the Calgary Flames. General Manager Darryl Sutter made the announcement at an afternoon news conference at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Former head coach Jim Playfair was appointed associate coach.

Keenan had a lot to say and was there to get the latest from the new head coach himself.

On winning:

"To win the Stanley Cup is not an easy task; it's a very difficult task that demands abnormal behavior in terms of excellence and you have to find, educate, teach and lead people that want to be led to grasp those ambitious goals and to be passionate about living it, believing it and achieving it."

On the Flames development:

"This team has certainly gone through the stages of development.We've been to games in the finals before and we got close to a job that went unfinished and hopefully we are in a position now where we can go to the same spot and finish it off and that's exactly what we're here for."

On the Flames future:

"I think that if you look at the organization, where they've been, and where we want to go, I think it's clear cut. I think that Darryl (Sutter) has laid that out for everyone here in this community to know and understand, and now it's a great opportunity and responsibility that we would like to impart on our players to continue that direction, to go on that path of success and to meet the expectations of this community and this organization and certainly our ownership."

On coming to work in Calgary:

"I'm working with people that I'm familiar with, that I'm very comfortable with and very confident in. I think we have good chemistry and I feel this is a very good selection in terms of my career and at the same time I'm hoping that I can help these young players, through my experiences, learn what it takes to be a winner."

On his hard-noes reputation:

"I think if you want to scrutinize my coaching reputation, demeanor, approach and if you really want to examine it closely, I have changed and if I hadn't I wouldn't have lasted or coached in the league as long as I did. I'm certainly not the same coach as I was in 1984 as a youngster with no experience as I was in 1994 when we won the Stanley Cup with a veteran team, as I was when I coached teams that weren't quite frankly capable of succeeding."

On getting back into coaching in the NHL:

"I did not like the way I had left the game and thought about coming back in a situation that I would be a lot more comfortable with and would like to end my coaching career on different terms. I would love to stay here and end my career here. I'm at a point in my career, in terms of where I'm at professionally, and I wanted to come here because of the people working here."

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