NEW YORK, April 23 (UPI) -- Florida Panthers head coach Mike Keenan went out of his way to contact New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather about the team's vacant coaching position, according to a published report Tuesday.
The New York Post, quoting a "well placed source," reports Keenan approached Sather to express an interest in returning to New York because circumstances in Florida had changed since joining the team last December.
The newspaper said it was Sather who then informed Keenan that the conversation they were having was inappropriate and that he would need to obtain permission from the Panthers to speak with him.
When Keenan approached Florida owner Alan Cohen about speaking with Sather, he was denied permission.
When contacted by United Press International, the New York Rangers declined to comment. Messages left with the Florida Panthers were not returned.
Over the weekend, Keenan told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel that the Rangers had gone through the process of obtaining permission to talk to him. However, Cohen said he never spoke with anyone from New York and suggested that the Rangers had tampered with his coach.
While National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman said the league will look into the matter, the Post said Cohen stopped short of filing official tampering charges against Sather.
The newspaper added that an investigation will show Keenan to be at fault and that could result in disciplinary action against him.
In 1994, the NHL fined Keenan $100,000 and suspended him for 60 days after orchestrating a series of events which saw him leave the Rangers and become the head coach and general manager of the St. Louis Blues.