Mar 6, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
On Jonathan Toews 3rd period goal that put the exclamation point on another Chicago Blackhawks win against their hated rivals from the east the Detroit Red Wings, Duncan Keith picked up his 50th assist on the season. Not only was it the half-century mark for the season, but Keith hit the 300 assist mark for his career all with the Blackhawks.
300 assist club seems impressive but not like a real huge number until you dig into the Blackhawks record books. For a team that’s been around since 1926 and has some tremendous offensive players come through the pipelines you expect a long list of players that have hit the 300 assist mark in their Blackhawks career but surprisingly when Keith picked up that assist last night he only became the 14th Blackhawks to every make it into the 300 club. Here is the current list:
Blackhawks with 300 assist in Franchise History
- Stan Mikita-926
- Denis Savard-719
- Doug Wilson-554
- Bobby Hull-549
- Steve Larmer-517
- Pierre Pilote-400
- Chris Chelios-395
- Pit Martin-384
- Bob Murray-382
- Dennis Hull-342
- Jeremy Roenick-329
- Doug Bentley-314
- Patrick Kane-314
- Duncan Keith -300
It’s also nice that Keith is having one of his best seasons when he’s hit the milestone and he’s only 5 assists away from tying his career high of 55 assists set in 2010 and 9 assists away from eclipsing Chris Chelios team record of assists for a season (Chelios recorded 58 twice).
Keith was great all the way into his Norris trophy season in 2010, but of all the Blackhawks to suffer a Stanley Cup hangover it was Keith and his play slipped in 2011. I remember hearing experts and bloggers agree that Keith may never get back to the Norris Trophy level after 2010-2011 season. His 2012 season was improved and then last year as the team marched to the best start ever and its second Stanley Cup in 4 season Keith’s play on both ends of the ice but more specifically defensively was back on par.
This season #2 is playing at what has to be the highest level of his career. He’s been solid defensively making play after play and he’s been the quarterback of the offense and the stats prove it with his team leading 50 assists. Keith for months now has been touted as the Norris Trophy favorite.
Without speculating on any more Stanley Cups in his career although with the talent and age of the organization the Blackhawks should always be in the hunt, What are the chances that Keith will end up in a bigger club at the Hall of Fame.
Looking at his career here are the list of accomplishments to date
- 2010 Gold Medal Award Winner
- 2010 Norris Trophy Winner
- 2010 Stanley Cup Champion
- 2013 Stanley Cup Champion
- 2014 Gold Medal Award Winner
- 2014 Norris Trophy???
If Keith does win the Norris for the 2nd time in his career will that be the final feather in the cap on the road to the Hall of Fame? He’s still only just 30 years old with plenty of hockey ahead of him to add to his resume, but for a player right in the middle of his career all things are pointing toward a Hall spot. Every once in a while his mean streak rears its head but most times you don’t even recognize him out there with all of the Blackhawks star power except when a great defensive play occurs and you see #2 skating back there making the play with the puck on his stick.
What do you think? Is the 30o club just a pit stop to a bigger club one day?
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