Hockey Night in Canada

Mike Keenan fired by KHL's Kunlun Red Star

Mike Keenan, the first coach to win both NHL and Kontinental Hockey League titles, was fired by the KHL's China-based Kunlun Red Star on Sunday, less than a year after hiring him as the team's first coach.

China-based team hired Stanley Cup, Gagarin Cup winner in March

Mike Keenan was fired by the KHL's Kunlun Red Star less than a year after he was hired as their head coach. (Alexander Nemenov, File/AFP/Getty Images)

Mike Keenan, the first coach to win both NHL and Kontinental Hockey League titles, was fired by the KHL's Kunlun Red Star on Sunday, less than a year after hiring him as the team's first coach.

The Beijing-based expansion team announced the decision on Sunday.

Keenan ended the New York Rangers' 54-year wait for a Stanley Cup title in 1994 and led Metallurg Magnitogorsk to a Gagarin Cup in 2015, but the 68-year-old struggled with Kunlun. The team went 12-24 under his stewardship — including overtime and shootout wins and losses — and was mired in a nine-game losing streak at the time of his firing.

Former NHLer Bobby Carpenter took over as interim coach, guiding the team to its first win since Oct. 31. Kunlun currently sits in 11th place in the KHL's Eastern conference, 11 points outside of a playoff spot.

Kunlun's aim is to develop Chinese players as the country builds a national team to compete at its first home Winter Olympics in 2022. Keenan was instructed to ensure at least five Chinese players get regular ice time on a roster dominated by foreign players.

With files from The Associated Press

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