Skip to main content

Keenan, former NHL coach, says 'things are aces' after cancer diagnosis

Cleared to resume normal activities following procedure on prostate

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Mike Keenan was cleared to resume normal activities nine months after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Keenan, who won the Stanley Cup in 1994 as coach of the New York Rangers, said he had his latest examination two weeks ago and is doing well.

"Things are aces," Keenan said during a reunion of the 1993-94 Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday. "I couldn't do much for about six months and the doctor said, 'You're good to go, do whatever you want.' So back on the horse and away we go. I don't mind speaking about it because it builds awareness overall.

"I said, 'What can I do?' They said, 'You can do anything you like.' That's great news."

Keenan coached for 20 NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins and Rangers, and his 672 wins rank 11th in League history.

Keenan went public with his condition at the encouragement of his doctors from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. On Sept. 18, he had a procedure called prostate brachytherapy, a form of radiation where slowly dissolving seeds are implanted into the prostate to kill the cancer cells.

During his treatment, Keenan went to three hospitals in the United States and Canada. One of his doctors was a Florida-based physician who attended Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, when the Rangers defeated the Canucks 3-2 at the Garden to win the Cup for the first time in 54 years. 

Because Keenan's cancer wasn't advanced, he was a candidate for the brachytherapy and did not need to have the cancer surgically removed.

"I had a choice and that's the choice I made," Keenan said. "Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto is the leading hospital and does the most procedures and brachytherapy of anyone else in the world. They have a great abundance of confidence and they did a super job for me."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.