Vancouver Canucks Forgotten Ones: Mike Keane


Over their 50-year historical past, the Vancouver Canucks have had many gamers come via the doorways of Rogers Arena and the Pacific Coliseum. It’s exhausting to recollect all of them, particularly when they’re extra well-known in one other jersey. In this collection, we’re going to look again at some former NHLers that performed for the Canucks, however don’t come to thoughts as such once we consider their NHL careers.

Mike Keane is generally identified for the three Stanley Cups he gained with the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars as a gritty ahead with Selke Trophy attributes. But, on the finish of his storied NHL profession which spanned 16 seasons and 6 groups, he performed 64 video games for the Canucks.

Keane Becoming a Canuck

After being purchased out by the Avalanche in 2003, Keane signed a one-year take care of the Canucks to offer veteran management within the backside six. The 36-year-old veteran had simply completed his second stint with the Avs, the group he gained his second championship with again in 1996 when Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg had been of their heyday.

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The Canucks, being the perennial playoff contender they had been again within the 2000s, wanted a veteran fourth-line presence like Keane to push the needle within the playoffs. His expertise as a three-time Stanley Cup champion was anticipated to be invaluable once they inevitably made it to the dance.

Donning the Orca

Before assembly the Calgary Flames within the first spherical of the playoffs, Keane was a invaluable member of the Canucks’ backside six with Jarkko Ruutu, Artem Chubarov, Brad May and Trevor Linden. He averaged 11:11 of ice time an evening and noticed the third-most time on the penalty kill (2:43) behind Linden (3:07) and Magnus Arvedson (2:47). Three of his eight assists additionally got here shorthanded on targets by Chubarov, Jiri Slegr and Tyler Bouck.

Related: Alexander Mogilny Is Hockey Hall Of Fame Worthy

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By the tip of the season, Keane had eight targets and 17 factors, essentially the most since 2001-02 when he had 17 factors cut up between the Avalanche and St. Louis Blues. Two of his eight targets had been additionally game-winners. In different phrases, he appeared poised to assist the Canucks win a Stanley Cup.

Unfortunately, Keane didn’t remodel into his previous self when the postseason got here round. In his earlier three Cup runs, he had 10 targets and 27 factors, together with a 15-point effort with the Canadiens in 1993. With the Canucks, he went pointless and have become a footnote in a seven-game opus that resulted in heartbreak when former Canuck Martin Gelinas scored the series-winning purpose in additional time after Markus Naslund tied it within the waning seconds of the third period. He retired from the NHL shortly after that.

The Rest of Keane’s Career

As for the remainder of his profession, Keane made his NHL debut in 1988-89 as a 21-year-old with the Canadiens after they signed him as an undrafted free agent out of the American Hockey League (AHL)’s Sherbrooke Canadiens. Before he inked his first NHL deal, he had simply completed a powerful 1987-88 season that noticed him rating 25 targets and 68 factors in 78 video games. Over the course of his profession, he performed for six groups – together with the Canadiens, Avalanche, Stars, New York Rangers, Blues and Canucks.

Mike Keane Montreal Canadiens
Mike Keane, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI through Getty Images)

Keane completed his profession with 168 targets and 470 factors in 1,161 video games. Most of his success got here in Montreal the place he hit his solely 60-point season when he recorded 15 targets and 45 assists in 80 video games. It was additionally there that the gritty Winnipeg native posted a career-high 119 penalty minutes in 1993-94, only one season after profitable his first Stanley Cup. Speaking of the Cup, he was additionally a prolific playoff performer, as he accrued 34 targets and 74 factors in 220 profession playoff video games. As talked about earlier, he gained Stanley Cups with the Canadiens (1993), Avalanche (1996) and Stars (1999), making him solely the eleventh participant to win a championship with three totally different groups.

Related: Mike Keane: Hard Work, Determination, and Three Stanley Cups

Despite his NHL success, Keane by no means noticed the worldwide stage throughout his profession. His solely expertise got here in the course of the 1987 World Juniors when he put up a single help in six video games.

After the lockout that claimed the 2004-05 season, Keane signed an AHL take care of the Canucks’ farm group on the time, the Manitoba Moose. Being a hometown boy, he turned an immediate fan favorite and ended up captaining the group for 5 seasons. During that point, he mentored numerous prospects together with future NHLers Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, Alex Edler, Jannik Hansen, Mason Raymond and Michael Grabner. He was mainly a player-coach down there for these guys. So, it’s actually no shock that he’s now a improvement coach for the Winnipeg Jets, a place he’s held since 2013-14. His jersey is now hanging within the rafters after the Moose retired his No. 12 in 2011.

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Keane might have solely performed 64 video games for the Canucks, however he’ll go down as top-of-the-line veteran leaders they ever had. Mostly as a result of he helped develop core items in Kesler, Burrows, Bieksa, Edler, Hansen and Raymond – 5 gamers who had been integral to the success the Canucks had within the 2010s once they had been arguably top-of-the-line groups within the NHL. Just for his work within the AHL with the prospects, he must be remembered as a lifelong Canuck, not only a veteran that had a cup of espresso with them.

All-Time Canucks Ranks

Games Played: 64 GP (T276th)
Goals: 8 G (T235th)
Assists: 9 A (T284th)
Points: 17 PTS (T267th)


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