Not Just a Hockey Story: No Stopping Manny Viveiros
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29 days ago
It looks like former Edmonton Oilers’ assistant coach Manny Viveiros is on the move again and that the winding road that is life and hockey will lead him back to the WHL as head coach of the Vancouver Giants this week.
Viveiros, 57, a native of St. Albert who spent the 2018-19 season with the Oilers on Todd McLellan’s staff, is expected to be named bench boss of the Giants Thursday. Viveiros spent the last three seasons as head coach of the Henderson Silver Knights, the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, where he compiled a record of 89-79-11, including 29-38-5 last season.
Vancouver will be the third stop for Viveiros, a defenceman who was a sixth-round draft pick of the Oilers in 1984, since he parted ways with Edmonton. Viveiros returned to the WHL and coached the Spokane Chiefs in 2019-20 before joining Henderson.
Most notable about Viveiros’ journey since he left Edmonton is his battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer during a routine physical exam in his second season with Henderson. Then, doctors found a second cancer during a colonoscopy leading up to having his prostate surgery done.
After a year of treatment and two surgeries that required multiple medical leaves from the Silver Knights, Viveiros was deemed to be cancer-free in December 2022.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but I ended up having two cancers,” Viveiros said. “Before I could start my treatment, I went in for a colonoscopy. They wanted to check all the boxes before I did my radiation treatment. They found something which turned out to be cancer. I had to go through a second operation.
“I ended up dealing with two cancers and treatment for two cancers which are completely separate incidents. They caught this early enough. The doc kind of said, ‘Someone is looking after you,’ because we’re very, very lucky we caught both of these.”
After mutually agreeing to part ways with the Silver Knights, hockey’s road will take Viveiros to Vancouver and back to the WHL where his story began – he played four seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders, 1982-86. Those PA teams included Dave Manson, Ken Baumgartner and current Edmonton police chief Dale McFee.
I was just getting started in the sports writing business back then, but it was obvious Viveiros was a special player – he played just 29 NHL games before spending most of his career playing in Europe. Jump ahead 40 years and here we are.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“It makes you appreciate life,” Viveiros said of facing cancer as part of his journey. “It makes me appreciate my time with my family, my kids. It makes me appreciate my time here. You don’t take things for granted or brush things aside – ‘I’ll take care of that tomorrow.’ No. I’ve learned that today is the most important day.”
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