25 Mike Keane
1996-1997 Second Season
Starter Mesh. Set tag "1". Hem tagging 56R-1SS8.
This jersey shows exceptional game wear, especially on the lower sleeves, with heavy marks and filth throughout the shirt. A few small tears are evident in various places, with well-defined stick marks throughout the body. The velcro is separating from the fight strap and remains unrepaired. Both sets of sleeve numbers show abrasions and marks.
As with all second-year Avalanche shirts, the size tag is located inside the hem, and contains numbers for the general shirt size, sleeve size, and cuff width. Also characteristic of the second-year jerseys, the hem embroidery contains both the Starter logo and company name together. This is the last year the Avalanche used larger numbers; the following year the numbers were reduced approximately one inch, thus eliminating the crowding problem with certain name and number combinations. The crest has been enlarged from the first year, and certain nuances have been eliminated from the letters in the nameplates. This jersey is marked set "1" in the neck. The sleeves have also been shortened and tapered. This jersey has been identified as the background jersey in the Mike Keane poster that was handed out at an Avalanche home game during the 1996-97 season. As with many other 96-97's, the washing tag is a single tag in this jersey with the second tag ("Ripon Athletic" tag evident in many 95-96 jerseys) carefully removed. The crest and numbers have a slight pucker, which is very prominent on the 96-97's. This jersey was acquired by a private collector, by way of Milt Byron; the original purchaser is unknown. The jersey is accompanied by Milt Byron's certificate of authenticity, and presumably had the Av's LOA at one point.
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A scrappy and hard-working right-winger, Mike Keane entered the league in 1988 and has been known for his unselfish team play and leadership. Keane generally wins the little battles along the boards and in the corners, abilities which don't usually show up in the game summary but are indispensable to the success of a team.
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Keane played three years with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL where he provided grit and 76 goals. He played with Canada at 1987 World Junior Championships in Czechoslovakia when the infamous brawl in Piestany with the Soviet Union cost Canada the gold medal.
The feisty winger was signed as a free agent by Montreal just before start of 1985-86 season. He scored 68 points in 78 games in his first pro season with AHL's Sherbrooke Canadiens in 1987-88 and continued to play an aggressive style of hockey. The Habs brought him up to the NHL in 1988-89 when he scored 16 goals and impressed with robust play for a rookie. Keane also scored four goals in the playoffs to help Montreal reach the final, a series they eventually lost to the Calgary Flames.
Keane's best year was 1992-93 when he scored 60 points and scored 15 points in 19 post-season games as Montreal won the Stanley Cup. He remained one of the Canadiens' most consistent players and was honoured with the team captaincy after Kirk Muller was traded to the New York Islanders in April 1995. The first two months of the 1995-96 were filled with turmoil in Montreal. On December 6, 1995 Keane was traded to Colorado along with Patrick Roy for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky and Andrei Kovalenko. A few months later he was sipping champagne from the Stanley Cup for the second time in four years after the Avalanche defeated the Florida Panthers in the final.
After signing as a free agent with the New York Rangers in the summer of 1997 Keane was excited about playing in one of the league's key markets. The Rangers stumbled and Keane dealt with the scathing media in the Big Apple firsthand. Relief came in the form of a trade at the deadline to the Dallas Stars. Keane provided grit and leadership on the fast-skating but defensively responsible Stars and was a part of his third Stanley Cup triumph in 1999. The next year he scored 13 goals and was a physical workhorse for the club as it reached the final but lost out to the New Jersey Devils. In 2000-01, Keane continued to be an integral part of the team when it finished first in the Pacific Division but lost to the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference semi-final.
Keane left the Stars following the 2001-02 season and joined the St. Louis Blues for the 2001-02 season. The feisty winger played only 56 games with the Blues before returning to Colorado in the late stages of the season.
Upon his arrival in Colorado, Keane played a supporting role in leading the Avalanche to the Western Conference Final, only to fall short against the eventual Stanley Cup champions from Detroit. Keane went on to play one more season in Colorado before signing as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks prior to the 2003-04 season.
Right wing - Shoots right
Born: March 29, 1967 - Winnipeg, Manitoba
5-10, 185 lbs.
Signed as a free agent by Montreal, September 25, 1985. Traded to Colorado by Montreal with Patrick Roy for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky and Jocelyn Thibault, December 6, 1995. Signed as a free agent by NY Rangers, July 30, 1997. Traded to Dallas by NY Rangers with Brian Skrudland and NY Rangers' 6th round choice (Pavel Patera) in 1998 Entry Draft for Todd Harvey, Bob Errey and Dallas' 4th round choice (Boyd Kane) in 1998 Entry Draft, March 24, 1998. Signed as a free agent by St. Louis, July 10, 2001. Traded to Colorado by St. Louis for Shjon Podein, February 11, 2002. Signed as a free agent by Vancouver, October 10, 2003.