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Dressed for success
MONTREAL | October 15th, 2010
Dressed for success
Winning a Stanley Cup takes talent, chemistry and hard work. But a little luck never hurts, either. That’s exactly what Mike Keane found out in 1993.

Always on the lookout to add a little pizzazz to his usual crop of black, blue or grey suits on game days, the former Habs winger knew he’d found something special when he stumbled upon a vintage red blazer while shopping in downtown Montreal one afternoon.

“I just happened to see it at a store and thought it was great,” recalled Keane. “I had a ‘CH’ stitched on it because that’s what they had on the blazers at the old Forum, and I had numbers put on the side because that’s what the Forum ushers had to show which section they worked in.”

After finishing up his custom alterations, Keane was ready to show off his new duds to his teammates. While the blazer was supposed to make a one-time appearance, Keane ended up sporting it a lot more than he anticipated that spring.   

“I’m not superstitious, but the guys egged me on that maybe the jacket would help if we needed a win,” explained the 16-year NHL veteran. “I didn’t wear it for the first two playoff games in the Quebec series, but I wore it the next night and it worked, so the superstitious guys started thinking it was lucky and they’d ask me to wear it.

“It wasn’t a light jacket, either – it was definitely winter weight and thick wool in 90-degree playoff weather,” laughed Keane, who wore it one last, triumphant time on June 9, 1993, when the Habs knocked off the L.A. Kings to win the franchise’s 24th Stanley Cup.

Having served its purpose for Keane and the Canadiens, the jacket was stowed away for safe keeping until the former Habs captain once again required its charms.

“After ’93 it was put away and I brought it out again in 2000 in Dallas. I wore it but then we lost a few games and I said, ‘That’s it – the magic’s gone’ and threw it out at the rink,” Keane recalled. “I didn’t know it at the time but I guess Kirk Muller had picked it up and saved it. A few years later Kirk and I were hanging out by a campfire one night and he sat down wearing it, so I have it back now.”

That’s a relief – you never know when Muller and the Habs might come looking for the lucky blazer on an upcoming spring day.

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