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He hasn’t coached in the NHL since splitting with the Calgary Flames in 2009, but Keenan has been with Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the Kontinential Hockey League for the last three years. He won the Gagarin Cup in 2014 – the only trophy in pro sports named after a Cosmonaut – and led them to the playoffs last season. He is their coach, their leader … a revolutionary, if you will.
You know: Like Lenin.
Right down to the icy glare.
So Metallurg decided to run with this comparison to its logical conclusion: a black and white promo (with jaunty piano music!) for the 2015-16 season starring Keenan as Vladimir Lenin.
The plot, as far as we can tell? While boiling fishheads near Lake Razliv one day, Lenin and his assistants “revolutionize” hockey while watching some young players and configuring rocks in what we can only assume is the 1-3-1 trap. This is a reference to the 1917 October Revolution (a.k.a. Red October) when Lenin overthrew the government and established himself chairman of a new Soviet order.
Like we said: Not exactly your run-of-the-mill season promo.
One lingering question: What is handing these kids?
Fruit on a stick? Mouthguards? Those lollipops made out of scorpions?
Obviously, this is inspired casting. Like Lenin, Keenan has been called a “relentless dictator.” Like Lenin, Keenan is infamous for his power struggles. And like Lenin, he’s a destroyer of empires – ask the Panthers.