Could Mike Keane and Patrick Roy be reunited again?
In light of Roy accepting the head coach and vice-president of hockey operations role with the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, the subject on the minds of many members of the media revolved around who might join the Hall of Famer on his staff.
The first name that came to my mind was Keane, a Winnipegger who won two of his three Stanley Cups as a teammate of Roy — first with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993 and then with the Avalanche in 1996.
Not only did Roy and Keane win together, they were traded together to the Avalanche and both men share a similar passion for the game a remarkable drive to win.
Since playing his final season with the Manitoba Moose in 2009-10, Keane has kept a close eye on the NHL, watching games throughout the league intently.
While it’s true that Keane has no actual coaching experience, his two decades of professional playing experience carry plenty of weight and give him plenty of insight to pass along to youngsters and veterans alike.
Keane’s ability to carve out a successful career in the NHL as an undrafted player who went on to win three Stanley Cups with three different teams make him the kind of person the Avalanche should want to have around a young core of players who are looking to restore the franchise to the Glory Days of the late 90s and early 2000s.
As a first-time NHL head coach, it’s expected that at least one of Roy’s assistants is going to have NHL experience behind the bench, but the legendary puck-stopper is an outside-the-box thinker who understands what Keane can bring to the table, so I doubt he’d have any reservations about bringing him on board.
Keane also has a strong relationship with Joe Sakic, who now holds the final say on all hockey decisions, so that might work in his favour.
Although he hasn’t expressed his desire to join the coaching fraternity publicly, sources said Keane was among those who put his name forward to join Claude Noel’s staff as an assistant with the Jets in the summer of 2011.
While he won’t be lobbying for a job through the media, you can expect Keane to put his name forward to the Avalanche as well.
Denver is a city that remains near and dear to his heart and bringing a guy like Keane back into the fold seems like a logical move for the Avalanche to consider.