As a head coach for 20 seasons in the National Hockey League, Mike Keenan has seen his share of challenges and ordeals... We are hoping it has prepared him for this devastating news he shared today with TSN.
Keenan is now facing a difficult life-threatening health challenge as the 68-year-old was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May after a biopsy confirmed what was originally detected through an annual PSA blood test. Keenan met with several doctors over the summer before making a decision on his best treatment option back in August.
“I evaluated options in the U.S. and Canada,” Keenan told TSN. “After consulting doctors, I was made aware I qualified for brachytherapy seed implants.”
Keenan had surgery last week at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, initiating the form of radiation therapy.
“Dr. Hans Chung and his team did an outstanding job with the highest professional standards,” Keenan added.
On Tuesday, Keenan made the decision to do public with his diagnosis in the hopes to help raise awareness and acknowledge the excellent medical care he's received through Sunnybrook.
"I’m trying to build awareness and combat the stigma that can be associated with prostate cancer,” Keenan said. “I was diagnosed early because of an annual PSA test used to detect this type of cancer in my yearly checkup.”
Keenan's prognosis is excellent and his sense of humour remains razor-sharp. He concluded our conversation by joking, “I am now the real Iron Mike, as the radiation seeds implanted stay for life.”
The famous and sometimes controversial head coach most recently coached the HC Kunlun Red Star of the Kontinental Hockey League. In the NHL, he served as head coach and/or general Manager with several teams between 1984 and 2009. He was a coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames in his 20 seasons behind the bench in the NHL. He has also worked as an analyst for the Rangers on MSG Network and as a hockey analyst for NBC Sports Network.
Keenan won a Stanley Cup championship as coach of the Rangers in 1994. He also won the KHL Championship while coaching Metallurg Magnitogorsk in 2014.