Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ Morning Links: Keith Takes A Break

By Colin Likas
Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith will miss the 2016 World Cup of Hockey

Good morning, Chicago Blackhawks fans.  A bit of interesting news hit yesterday when the Chicago Blackhawks announced star defenseman Duncan Keith would miss the World Cup of Hockey.

Keith apparently would like more time to recover from his meniscus surgery performed early last season. It cost him all of 10 games, but you really can’t put a timeline on something like that. St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s spot on Team Canada’s roster.

This is good news for the Blackhawks, that Keith has decided to rest something that could cause him trouble down the road. At age 33, Keith isn’t exactly a youngster anymore. Recovering quickly from injury or surgery isn’t a given. So his willingness to recuperate instead of participate in an honestly meaningless event should mean a lot to Blackhawks fans.

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Even though Chicago’s blue line is improved from last season, Keith is still the most integral part of it. And with the forwards group highly suspect at this point, a healthy Keith will be needed to push play from the back end, in order to spur the offense.

Thankfully this isn’t like the All-Star Game. The 2016 iteration saw Jonathan Toews and Alexander Ovechkin get suspended a game apiece for not participating as a result of nursing injuries. Keith can miss the World Cup without fear of repercussions, outside angry Twitter verbage.

Let’s see what else is going on in the NHL of late.

— Arizona makes a significant hire. USA Today

—  Do you even lift, bro? SportsNet

Ryan Reaves was a runner-up, according to reports. NHL.com

— if you’re ever stuck in Canada, this is relevant. SportsNet

— Odd that it took an injury to get him there. NHL.com

Preseason hockey can’t get here soon enough

The Blackhawks are getting ever closer to training camp, although that will consist of World Cup of Hockey practice and play for some team members. It should be interesting to see how the roster shakes out as the Blackhawks miss on guys like Jiri Hudler this offseason.

I still don’t think there’s any reason to panic over the Blackhawks missing out on Hudler. However, I still think they can’t just rely on what’s within the organization for the year at hand.

Maybe the younger guys will be OK, but with the championship window closing as guys like Toews, Keith, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Corey Crawford move past their peak years, I still feel it’d be prudent to go find a more proven guy to bolster the forwards.

Next: Blackhawks' Jiri Hudler Miss Not Fatal

But maybe the team will be fine without such a move. That’s part of what training camp is for — to show us that what’s within the system will work just fine. That’s why it can’t get here soon enough.

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