Today we would like to wish one of the best Chicago Blackhawks defensemen ever a very happy birthday! So happy birthday to Duncan Keith!
A lot of great NHL defensemen have played past the age of 37, but none were more successful than Nicklas Lidstrom at doing so. In 2008-08 Lidstrom put up 70 points in 76 games with the Detroit Redwings. While Keith did not have a season like that he was still great.
It is hard to imagine that Duncan Keith is truly 37 years old. He has been playing some great dominant hockey throughout all of his career in Chicago, and while his age is going up his ice time is not going down.
One reason I think Lidstrom was able to put up so many points was the fact that he had so many great defensemen around him in Detroit. Keith does not have that much talent around him on the blue line right now, in fact, he is taking on a bigger role helping to prepare Adam Boqvist to be the next top blueliner in Chicago. Similar to what he did with Henri Jokiharu last season until the team traded him away.
I hope Keith has more good years ahead of him. While the end of his career is definitely in sight, he can still be dominant and great for the next few years.
Zdeno Chara turned 37 in 2015, and he is still playing now at 42 years old five years later. Usually, a birthday is something to celebrate, but for the Blackhawks right now it is a reminder that their core players are not going to remain their core players forever. At some point, these amazing players we have watched over the past ten or so years are going to call it a career, and the team is going to continue after they are gone.
Hopefully, when Keith does hang up his skates he will have some more than three Stanley Cups next to his name, and hopefully the 37-year-old will be ready to go when the team takes the ice for the play-in series against Edmonton!