Keenan will probably be remembered as one of the greatest coaches of all time and one of the most miserable.
TOM GIBBONS, RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.
Thank you for the wonderful article by Gary Smith about Blues coach Mike Keenan (Tom Asunder, May 8). Finally, all of us in St. Louis know a little about this mysterious man. People may call him stuck-up, and he may not show much emotion, but he is the best coach in the NHL, and we love him.
JEFF LUTOSTANSKI, St. Peters, Mo.
In September 1993 I covered the New York Ranger training camp at Glens Falls, N.Y. The prospect of meeting Mike Keenan was intimidating, but on the first day of camp he stopped and chatted with me before he went into the locker room. Throughout camp Keenan was enjoyable to talk to, whether it was about the scrimmages taking place there or his days as coach of the Rochester Americans. I am one person who got to see the other 90% of his personality.
I never had the chance to thank him for the kindness he showed me. I know that someday he'll win the Stanley Cup again.
KUN LECCESE JR., Chestertown, N.Y.
I believe Keenan is a misunderstood man. Thank you for letting us see his humane side. Gripe and complain as players and fans will, they can't argue with Keenan's success. They may criticize his methods, but he is not the first to take such steps in pursuing a dream.
JANICE PAGE, Coventry, Conn.
I remember as if it were yesterday the aftermath of Game 7 of last year's Stanley Cup finals. Even from my distant vantage point across Madison Square Garden, the jubilation on Keenan's face was evident as Mark Messier handed him the Cup and he hoisted it high above his head. The Cup had been delivered, and the long-suffering Ranger fans loved Keenan for it. A few weeks later we all felt jilted as Keenan left New York in a whirlwind for St. Louis.
After reading your article, I am left with a feeling of sadness for a man who has achieved everything he aspired to but whose life seems so devoid of love and friendship.
HUGH J. LEWIS, Pleasantville, N.Y.
I confess to being one of those people who could never stand Mike Keenan. When he was in Philadelphia, his presence made it easy for me to hate the Flyers, and his tenure in Chicago greatly endangered the respect I have for the Blackhawk franchise. And although I loathe the Rangers only slightly less than the Flyers, I thought Keenan's departure from New York was absolutely shameful, not just for Ranger fans but for all hockey fans.
But after reading Gary Smith's article, I am now convinced that the man is the most pathetic—pitiable even—human being in pro hockey. Now Iron Mike will have us believe that he (half sideshow act, half petty, dictator) is a gentle creature craving love from his family and friends? That he actually did a lot for his players? Spare us your platitudes, Mike. Actions speak louder than words.
BLAIR MCGREGOR GRAY
Your item on team physicians gave the impression that they are always greedy and often not qualified to serve as their patients' allies (SCORECARD, May 8). The group you describe that bid for the Carolina Panther job is really a hospital, not a group of doctors. In the ever-shrinking health-care market, you will see more and more hospitals and health maintenance organizations competing and even paying for business. The way they look at it, pro team coverage is good advertising.