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Flames hire Keenan as coach

NHL.com @NHL

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -Mike Keenan is making another stop in the NHL.

He returned as coach of the Calgary Flames on Thursday - his eighth head coaching job in the league. Keenan agreed to a three-year deal and replaces Jim Playfair, who will remain with the team as an assistant after leading the Flames to the playoffs in his one season as head coach.

"Together, they will do remarkable things for this team," Flames general manager Darryl Sutter said at a news conference.

The well-traveled Keenan won the Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994, and Thursday was the 13th anniversary of that title.

"I'd love to stay here and end my career here," Keenan said.

His last job in the league was general manager of the Florida Panthers, but he resigned in September, 2006 after more than two years running the team's day-to-day operations.

Playfair joined the Flames as an assistant under Sutter in 2002 before being promoted last season. Last season, the Flames were 43-25-10, finishing eighth in the Western Conference. They lost to the Detroit Red Wings in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

"This has been a tough process for him to go through," Keenan said. "There's a lot to be said about a man who can make those types of choices with his family."

The 57-year-old Keenan was honored as the league's top coach in 1985 after leading the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals. He took the Chicago Blackhawks to the Cup finals in 1992. Keenan also coached St. Louis, Vancouver, Boston and Florida.

Keenan has 569 victories in 1,014 games as an NHL coach.

Keenan gave Sutter his first NHL coaching job when he was the GM in Chicago. Keenan said the opportunity to work with Sutter again was a big factor in his decision to take the job.

"That had everything to do with it, to work with people that you know and share the same vision," Keenan said. "We've been to games in the finals before and we got close to the job that was unfinished. Hopefully, we're in a position now that we can go to that same spot and finish it off."

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