Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Happy Birthday Duncan Keith!

By Gail Kauchak
Jan 21, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Duncan Keith’s birthday comes at the perfect time

In the hockey world, we are currently in the middle of the doldrums of summer.  It’s the offseason, and it’s been the offseason for quite some time now.  Yes, there was prospect camp this past week, and the World Cup of Hockey is coming in September.  Then of course there will be training camp at Notre Dame.  But we won’t get to see the Chicago Blackhawks that we know and love take to the ice again until October 12th, when they meet the St. Louis Blues at the United Center.

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We’ve all got a lot of waiting to do.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could have some kind of a celebration in the middle of all this?  Well we can, and it comes in the form of Duncan Keith’s birthday!  That’s right, today good old Duncs turns 33 years old.  33 years old.  That’s not exactly young.

But Keith hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down…yet.  He’s a two time Norris Trophy winner (2010, 2014).  He had a strong season this past year.  He came back from meniscus surgery in record time, and still posted top numbers even after missing 15 games of the regular season.

In only 67 regular season games, he managed 43 points.  Last year, he tallied 45 points in 80 regular season games.  He was a quarterback on the power play.  He actually had four power play goals, and four game-winning goals, both being career bests.  He played mostly on the top defensive pairing, so he took on the toughest competition. His average ice time (25:14) was actually low for his usual standards, but was the highest on the Blackhawks, and 12th in the league.  Although it was short-lived, Keith led the league in the post season, with 31:28 TOI.

One cannot take for granted how important Keith is to the Chicago Blackhawks.  He drives possession, and provides numerable intangibles for the team.  Does everyone remember when he buried the opening goal in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final Game 6?  Those were the days, my friends!   Let’s relive it.

It remains to be seen how long the window is open before Duncs starts to decline.  In nine NHL seasons, he’s won the Stanley Cup three times, lost in the finals twice, and lost in the quarterfinals twice.  That’s a lot of mileage on a body, especially for a defenseman that puts in so many minutes.

But Keith is known for his incredibly healthy eating habits and his extreme dedication to fitness.  If anyone can do it, Duncs can.  Hopefully he has many more years of playing at top form ahead of him.  After all, the Hawks are depending on him, and so are the fans.

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Another reason Keith’s birthday comes at the perfect time is because this weekend is the Chicago Blackhawks Convention at the Hilton in Chicago.  And Duncan is there!  If you recall, Keith missed last year’s convention due to personal reasons; so this is a special treat.  If you happen to see him there, be sure to wish him a happy birthday!

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