The following article appeared on www.sherbrooktimes.com on Saturday, August 26, 2017 featuring St. Lawrence alum Mike Keenan, who is taking the reigns of Kunlun.
By Slava Malamud
Some believe that Mike Keenan is no longer “Iron Mike” and that his new job in the KHL is only a preamble to the retirement benefits and a fast way to make money in an exotic location. However, they were terribly wrong. With the mission to bring the Red Star of Kunlun, the chinese team of the KHL, to a status of aspirant to honors in its second year of existence, Keenan, is very involved.
Kunlun is the face shown to the public by the China, who devotes a lot of effort to build a national team to be credible by the olympic winter Games of 2022 planned in Beijing. Funded by the Russian oligarch Gennady Timchenko (who is also funding the eternal power of the KHL, SKA Saint-Petersburg and the other formation of the league do not come from the eastern bloc, the Jokerit Helsinki) and the chinese government, the organization of Kunlun has been transformed this year into a gigantic factory of hockey. There is a club-school, the Red Star of Heilongjiang, as well as the Red Star junior — training affiliate of the junior level — and the team having recently joined the League of female hockey canadian, the latter being already ready to steal players american.
While China hoped that all of this activity a well-financed, will lead to putting in a respectable performance of its two national teams in 2022 (possibly that Keenan will be at the helm of the training male), the current club of Kunlun is mainly composed of north american players and europeans. The objective is to bet on a concession of the KHL strong and popular way to promote the sport. Of course, Keenan is responsible for the important folders. And it does not accept weak links.
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