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.