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Keenan: I'm staying

Blues coach Mike Keenan wants it understood: The chairman is gone and the star goaltender's a question mark, but he's not going anywhere.

Keenan, who also is St. Louis' general manager, called a news conference to dispel rumors he might leave the team in the wake of Mike Shanahan's firing June 16 as chairman and chief executive.

Keenan's contract was written with an escape clause that would let him leave if either Shanahan or then-team president Jack Quinn left the organization.

"The window is closed," Keenan said. "I'm glad to be staying. I wanted to stay."

Hawks select Hartsburg

CHICAGO _ Craig Hartsburg remembers the slashes and spears, the high sticks and heavy fists. He remembers the blood trickling out of his nose and over his upper lip. He remembers the sound of 18,000 loathsome voices ringing through the Chicago Stadium rafters.

"Ten years ago," he said, "the team I probably hated the most was the Chicago Blackhawks."

Now the former Minnesota North Stars defenseman and captain is not just part of the team he used to detest, he's in charge of it.

Thursday _ Hartsburg's 36th birthday _ the Blackhawks named him coach and gave him a three-year contract.

Hartsburg replaces Darryl Sutter, who resigned last week.

"I know what the players are like. I know how they think," Hartsburg said. "That's not to say I'm still a player because I'm not. I'm the coach, and there's a line that is drawn."

Need an octopus?

DETROIT _ The Red Wings' quick exit from the Stanley Cup was more than a disappointment for the team and its fans.

It also become a headache for fish dealers who stockpiled thousands of pounds of octopus in anticipation of a tradition _ throwing the creatures on the ice at games.

"People had a lot of fun throwing them," said Ron Hertza, owner of Pomeroy's Seafood in Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township. "It's just a shame we couldn't have had a couple more games here to throw some more."

Around the league

Devils: The team's top executives met with the team's landlord in an effort to renegotiate the lease and keep the Stanley Cup champions in New Jersey. The talks were at least the second this week, and came four days before a scheduled court hearing in which the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will seek a temporary restraining order to prevent the Devils from moving to Nashville, Tenn.

Sabres: Buffalo signed left wing Yuri Khmylev to a multiyear contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Flyers: Left wing Brent Fedyk signed a new contract, the terms of which were not disclosed. General manager Bob Clarke was named executive of the year by the Hockey News.

_ Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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