By Scott Billeck
The Winnipeg Jets announced Tuesday that they have hired Mike Keane as Player Development Assistant. He will be working closely with former Manitoba Moose teammate Jimmy Roy, who is the Coordinator of Player Development.
Keane, 46, played in 1161 career NHL games between Montreal, Colorado, NY Rangers, Dallas, St. Louis and Vancouver. In his 16 year NHL career, Keane recorded 470 career points (168G, 302A) and 881 penalty minutes. He won three Stanley Cup Championships with Montreal (1993), Colorado (1996) and Dallas (1999).
The Winnipeg, MB native finished his playing career with the Manitoba Moose, playing in his hometown from 2005 to 2010. In his time with the Moose, Keane played in 365 career games for 114 career points (36G, 78A) and 244 career penalty minutes.
Keane’s experience is what will serve him and the Winnipeg Jets best.
He was on the same junior team as Theo Fluery, a team coached by Graham James. He was apart of Canada’s 1987 World Junior team who were involved in the infamous “Punch-up in Piestany,” a bench clearing brawl with the Soviet Union team that led to their disqualification, and potentially a gold medal. Keane then went undrafted out of Junior, but his tremendous work ethic and undeniable skill got him a chance in the NHL and the Montreal Canadiens where he eventually became the captain.
Keane will focus mainly on amateur and professional teams, with a particular emphasis in the evaluation and development of players with the St. John’s IceCaps.
(With files from the Winnipeg Jets)