The Chicago Blackhawks said goodbye to another important piece of their core when Duncan Keith was traded to Edmonton yesterday.
Let’s be honest, everyone knew one day the final two remaining pieces from the Chicago Blackhawks championships would have to be Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, I just think few thought Duncan Keith would get dealt along the way to a different team.
Keith joined a list of players like Brandon Saad, Corey Crawford, Andrew Shaw, Brent Seabrook, and many others who all left the team the past year and a half. This move was on his own terms and will keep him in the league for a while, unlike Crawford, Shaw, and Seabrook who all had injuries end their careers.
Keith leaving for Edmonton is the right move for him so that he can be closer to his son. It also allows for him to take a step back and not be forced to be the top guy every night. Now the team can try and find their new top player.
No one is ever going to be able to replace Duncan Keith.
During the coming weeks we will have to talk about the teams assistant captains, the defense, and pretty much every aspect of the roster. Not having Duncan Keith around is just going to make things so much more different, but it shows a changing of the era in Chicago.
Thank you Duncan Keith for so many good years of hockey in Chicago. Over the course of his career, since getting drafted in 2002 by the Blackhawks, Keith has played in over 1192 regular season games and has won three Stanley Cups with the team. Very few players have had as big of an impact as Keith through the years and he will always be an important Blackhawk.
The year Keith retires I bet the Blackhawks retire number 2 and put it in the rafters, and it is already a lock that he will be in the hall of fame when he is able to. Honestly I think the only question when it comes to Duncan Keith now is whether or not he can win another championship now with the Oilers.
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Personally I think Keith is going to be looking a lot better next season on a new team that is better offensively that can play him in different roles. I know basically every stat you can imagine says Keith is through being a productive player, but there were times this season that he was at his best. Now we just have to wait and see what happens when he is only playing 15 minutes a night.