Keane's future with Moose in limbo


, Last Updated: 10:29 PM ET

One of the lingering questions surrounding the Manitoba Moose this off-season is whether captain Mike Keane will be back for a sixth season.

When the Moose cleared out their lockers in May, Keane expressed his desire to come back for another season but a few weeks later general manager Craig Heisinger wasnt willing to officially commit to the three-time Stanley Cup winner.

When asked if he could provide an update on Keanes status for next season, Heisinger offered a polite no comment.

New Moose coach Claude Noel was a little more forthcoming, but conceded he wouldnt have much input into the final decision regarding Keane.

I have a lot of respect for Mike Keane, Ive coached against him and hes won championships as well, said Noel. I dont know the situation with Mike and I probably wont be involved in any of that. I havent had a chance to talk to Vancouver or with Craig (Heisinger) as to what their plans are there.

Im kind of out of the loop there, as we speak (Monday).

A decision on Keanes future is expected shortly after free agency opens on July 1.

Keane, who turned 43 on May 29, is coming off his most productive season in antlers as he produced nine goals and 31 points in 75 games last season and added two assists in six playoff games.

The right-winger was a key member of the Moose penalty killing unit and spent most of the campaign on the shutdown line.

Keane also has 1,161 regular season games in the NHL (168 goals, 470 points) and 220 Stanley Cup playoff games (34 goals, 74 points) on his resume.