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Moose, Province honour Mike Keane

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1 Moose, Province honour Mike Keane on Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:26 pm



photo by John Woods, Winnipeg Free Press.

Anyone take this in? Keane is truly an inspiration.

"It was first time in Manitoba Moose history that the franchise retired a jersey, and they did it right.

Before Mike Keane's No. 12 was raised to the rafters at the MTS
Centre, the tributes came from far and wide during a 30-minute ceremony
before a crowd of 10,948 that included an Order of the Buffalo Hunt from
the premier, a trip to Pebble Beach, a commissioned painting
illustrating his 22-year professional career and praise from a Hall of
Fame lineup of former teammates via video.

"There's not a guy I can think of that deserves this more," said Joe
Sakic, who won a Stanley Cup with Keane with the Colorado Avalanche in

"I'm happy to say I coached you," added former Avs head coach Marc
Crawford, now with the Dallas Stars. "I always respected the energy and
commitment you came to the rink with."

Up next was the great Patrick Roy, who won Cups with Keane in both Montreal (1993) and Colorado.

Indeed, Roy was infamously traded from Montreal to the Avalanche
after a fallout with Canadiens management in 1995 to join Keane in

"Mike played a big role in that trade, not only for myself but for my
family," Roy said, as part of the video presentation. "It was the first
time I'd ever been traded. He (Keane) said, 'Just be yourself. Don't
worry.' He's not just a great teammate, he's a great friend."

Other former teammates to pay their respects included Montreal
Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller, current Moose captain Nolan
Baumgartner, Guy Carbonneau and current Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk.

Not a bad legacy for a tough-as-nails battler out of Winnipeg -- the
kids from his former minor-hockey team, the Assiniboine Park Rangers,
where on the ice, too -- who was never drafted, yet went on to captain
the iconic Montreal Canadiens and win three Stanley Cups for three
different teams. In all, Keane played in 1,161 NHL games and recorded
470 points and 881 penalty minutes.

On Feb. 3, 2009, Keane played his 1,500th professional game with the Moose, versus the Lake Erie Monsters.

Keane's wife Tammy, son Jackson and daughter Olivia -- along with his
parents Jack and Mary-Ann -- each wore jerseys of Mike's former teams,
including the St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.

And after Premier Greg Selinger awarded Keane with the Order of the
Buffalo Hunt, the governor of the Moose coughed up the golf trip to
Pebble Beach.

Mark Chipman described Keane as the on-ice foundation of the Moose franchise since first signing with the club back in 2005.

"Within days he became our captain," Chipman said. "And in the five
years that followed he led our team in every respect. He left a standard
of excellence that left a permanent impression on all of us."

Not surprisingly, Keane was brief.

"It's simply unbelievable," he said, in thanking the fans. "To play
in front of your family and friends in your hometown is something I'll
never forget."

A short speech, with little fanfare.

Keane's hockey career? Not so much."

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through
our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that
democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'

― Isaac Asimov

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