Reports out of Montreal confirmed today that longtime Blackhawks Defenseman and future first-ballot Hall of Famer Duncan Keith has decided to retire from the NHL. The 38-year-old had one year left on his contract at $5.54 million with the Edmonton Oilers.
Trading Keith last summer was an indication to fans that the Hawks were heading in a direction of no return. The Norris Trophy winner was a cornerstone of the franchise for 16 years.
Keith joins fellow teammates Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw, and Corey Crawford as the latest of the cup winners to hang up the skates.
Chicago was blessed to have one of, if not the greatest defenseman in the NHL for the better part of a decade. Keith will always be viewed as a workhouse who sacrificed much more than just his teeth in order to reach the ultimate goal.
While we sit here and reflect on a special career, let’s look back at some of Duncan Keith’s greatest moments and accolades.
2015 Stanely Cup Winning Goal
Very few players are able to refer to themselves as the goal scrorer that won their team the Stanley Cup. Duncan Keith sure can.
On June 15th, 2015, the Blackhawks hosted game 6 of the Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Leading the series 3-2, Chicago was attempting to win it’s 3rd cup in six years. This time, in front of their fans.
In the second period, an offensive zone entry by Patrick Kane caught the attention of four members of the Lightning.
Duncs then entered the zone with minimal pressure, received a pass from Kane, and fired a shot off the pad of goaltender Ben Bishop.
He followed his own rebound and shot home the eventual Stanley Cup winning goal. This play perfectly exemplifies the type of player Keith was.
He never once gave up on a play and always pounced on second chances.
In 2015, Duncan Keith brought Chicago to their feet with his Stanley Cup Final series-winning goal in Game 6. 🚨
— NBC Sports Hockey (@NBCSportsHockey) December 23, 2019
Norris Trophy Seasons
Duncan Keith was named the NHL’s best defenseman twice in his career, with his first coming in the 2009-10 season and second in 2013-14.
Both seasons saw Keith exceeding 60 points and playing at least 79 regular season games. His pus/minus remained consistant at 21 and 22 those years.
It’s no coincidence that the team brought home the Stanley Cup both years. Keith exceeded 24 minutes of time on ice and was a viking on the backend.
Keith was selected for the Canadian Olympic hockey team twice in his career. Both years Canada would go on to win the Gold Medal. Success truly followed this man.
He combined for 7 points in 13 games those two years and had teammate Brent Seabrook with him along the way.
Duncs also had the opportunity to participate in the 2008 IIHF World Championship for team Canada. The 25 year old would go on to win the silver medal in his first professional experience internationaly.
Stanley Cup Champion
The Stanley Cup was brought to Chicago three times thanks to the herculean effort of Duncan Keith. Those three years, he would play in 67 games tallying 51 points along the way.
Nobody will ever forget his sacrifice in the 2010 playoffs that cost him seven teeth either.
‘Duncan Teeth’ would return to the ice only seven minutes after taking a puck to face courtesy of Patrick Marleau.
“It’s just missing teeth. It’s a long way from the heart.”
Spoken like the true warrior he is.
His 2013 performance will always be highlighted by a two game stretch for the record books.
Keith found himself on the ice for a total of 89 minutes between game five of the conference finals against the Kings (2OT) and game one of the Cup Final against the Bruins (3OT).
The Conn Smythe was unanimously awarded to Keith in 2015 as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That year he became the fourth defenseman since the NHL started tracking ice time to play 700 minutes in a single postseason.
But the most impressive stat of all during that 2015 cup run was that Keith was on the ice for two out of every three goals the Hawks scored.
He was an absolute warrior for this team and nobody will ever forget it.
Number To The Rafters
Out of 1,256 career NHL games, 1,192 of those came in a Blackhawks sweater.
When it comes to team records, Keith currently ranks 2nd in games played, 6th in assists (520), and 10th in points (625).
A year from now I hope fans are able to look up and see his the number 2 hanging in the rafters. Heck, if I was in charge I would be calling him today. It can’t come soon enough.
On top of that, I fully expect him to receive a call from the Hall of Fame when he is first eligible three years from now.
Nobody did it like Keith and few ever will.
Thanks for the memories and always remember, Chicago runs on Duncan.