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Anniversary of a bizarre day in Rangers history

Posted By On July 15, 2011 @ 6:03 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 305 Comments

Not sure why I always remember this day. [1]

July 15, 1994. That was the shocking day that Mike Keenan, on a Toronto TV station, announced he was leaving the Rangers because of a breach in his contract. The Rangers were late with a bonus check, so Keenan, a month and a day after winning the Stanley Cup, was bolting.

The Garden, of course, was furious. Though some of it was fake as it came out later that Keenan and Neil Smith — who had battled all year long and who probably couldn’t have lasted another week together, much less than another season — had cooked up the whole missed-check scenario so Keenan could leave.

And Keenan, who had been negotiating with Detroit throughout the Stanley Cup run, ultimately went to St. Louis … and the NHL handed out punishment that included the compensation trade of Esa Tikkanan for Petr Nedved (a pair of No. 10s swapping uniforms).

What a crazy chapter in franchise history.

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AP Photo, above.


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