Former Canucks head coach steps down from National Team role after major surgery

Cooper Godin
July 7, 2024  (11:55)

Mike Keenan during an interview while head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
Photo credit: CBC

A former Vancouver Canucks Head Coach has stepped down from his role with the Italian National Team after undergoing major surgery recently.

In a social media post on Saturday morning, Mike Keenan, who spent parts of two seasons behind the bench in Vancouver in the late 1990s, announced that he will no longer be the Head Coach of the Italian National Team, but will remain with the federation as a hockey consultant.
Keenan said that he underwent open heart surgery recently, which led to the decision to step down from his coaching role, and is recovering well.
"No longer Italy's National Head Coach, but will be their hockey consultant. Recovering well from open heart surgery 🙏 ❤️‍🩹 👍🏻" Keenan said.

Keenan, 74, was hired by the Vancouver Canucks in November 1997 as a replacement for Tom Renney. He would spend just over a year in the role before being fired in January 1999 and replaced by Marc Crawford. In 108 games behind the bench in Vancouver, Keenan led the Canucks to a record of 36 W - 54 L - 18 T.
After leaving Vancouver, Keenan would make stops in Boston, Florida, Calgary before heading over to the KHL to join Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Kunlun Red Star.
In October 2022, just five months after they were relegated from the top division at the World Championship, the Italian Ice Sports Federation hired Keenan to lead their National Team over the next several years including at the 2026 Winter Olympics, which they're set to host. As Keenan's permanent replacement, the Italian Ice Sports Federation has named 3x World Championship gold medalist and 2022 Winter Olympic gold medalist Jukka Jalonen their new Head Coach.
Everyone here at Canucks Daily wishes Mike Keenan a speedy recovery from open heart surgery and hope he's able to get back behind the bench at some point down the road.
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Former Canucks head coach steps down from National Team role after major surgery

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