Monday, August 4, 2014

Mike Keane Autographed Card

As I mentioned last week when I featured this Yvan Cournoyer return, I had a few option regarding jersey #12 for my Habs Numbers Project, and one of them was Mike Keane, who I got to meet a few times while he was a member of the Montréal Canadiens, and once with the Manitoba Moose.

Though he did have a 15-goal and 60-point season in 1992-93 - the year the Habs won the Stanley Cup, where a lot of their players had career years - he was mostly a grinder who gave it his all on the ice but was better at not costing his team a game than handing it one. It was that reason that got him to briefly serve as the team's captain, before being part of the trade that would send him and Patrick Roy to the Colorado Avalanche for their first Cup win - and cause the Canadiens a decade of misery.

Keane won a third Cup in 1999 with the Dallas Stars, playing with other former Habs Cup winners Craig Ludwig, Guy Carbonneau, Brian Skrudland - the latter two having also worn the 'C', though only Carbonneau had the title (Skrudland served during another captain's injury, perhaps Carbonneau's).

Keane signed this card a little after the turn of the millennium, though I forget what team he was playing for at the time - it could have been in his second stint with the Avs, or that season when he was with the Vancouver Canucks:
It's from Upper Deck's 1995-96 Collector's Choice set (card #153) and was signed in black sharpie.

Keane and Brent Gilchrist pretty much owe Hall Of Fame coach Pat Burns their NHL careers, as he brought them along when he graduated from the Habs' AHL affiliate Sherbrooke Canadiens, and kept handing them defensive responsibilities at the NHL level, where they improved their game immensely.

A Winnipeg native, Keane spent his final 5 seasons playing for the AHL's Manitoba Moose - which he also captained - and his #12 is the only jersey in team history to be retired.

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