Chicago Blackhawks: 3 keys to success for Duncan Keith

Chicago Blackhawks, Duncan Keith (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks, Duncan Keith (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks, Duncan Keith
Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Key 1: Be honest about his future

If Keith is really playing for Cups at this point in his career, then he’d probably prefer a trade out of Chicago. When they publicly announced that they were rebuilding, Keith along with other veterans, weren’t thrilled. Keith wants to win, not rebuild. However, he’s still here. Will this change?

Will there be a discussion with the Blackhawks front office that leads to Keith being dealt to a competitor to shore up another team’s depth? Then again, if he decides to stick around, which, according to the Sun-Times’s Ben Pope, appears to be the case, then that needs to be the choice he makes. The longer Keith is stuck in a “will he or won’t he” scenario, the worse it will be for him.

If determining whether or not to leave Chicago drags on and on, the less likely it is that Keith will be traded to anyone. At 37, he’s at the end of his career. He’s still a reliable veteran and is exactly the kind of player contending teams look for to shore up the blueline. However, if this is the path he chooses to pursue, then it needs to happen now. Keith should simply come out and ask for a trade if he doesn’t want to be a part of a rebuild.

If that’s what he wants, then that’s understandable. He’s a decorated player, and at this point in his career, he’s earned the right to focus on pursuing championships. This has to come from him though. By contrast, if he’s decided that he’s committed to Chicago, then he needs to stand by that. The choice is his, but he needs to make it and own it.