Blues notebook: Mike Keenan once took the team to Vail

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Blues coach Mike Keenan watches his team in action against the Los Angeles Kings in St. Louis on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 1995. From left to right are Jay Wells (26) Denis Chasse and Ian Laperriere (22). The Kings beat the Blues 1-0. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Blues coach Mike Keenan watches his team in action in 1995 against the Los Angeles Kings in St. Louis. From left are Jay Wells, Denis Chasse and Ian Laperriere.

Jim Thomas

VAIL, Colo. — Mike Keenan got a text Tuesday from Blues vice president of media and brand communications Mike Caruso. It included a picture of the coach’s office in John A. Dobson Ice Arena, where the Blues are practicing this week in preparation for Saturday’s season opener, at Colorado.

It may seem like a lifetime ago, but Keenan was there — in that office — as the coach of the Blues on a similar team-bonding trip in January 1995.

The circumstances were a little different. At the time, the Chesterfield ice rink was being built. The 1994 NHL lockout had just ended, and Keenan didn’t think the Chesterfield rink was quite ready for the Blues. So at the last minute, he decided to send the team to Vail for a week’s worth of practice heading into the season-opener, in San Jose.

You get the impression that there never was a dull moment during Keenan’s tenure with the Blues. Kelly Chase and Igor Korolev were waived…

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