On Saturday night, Duncan Keith will play in his 1,000th career regular season game. Every one of them has come wearing the red and white of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Keith will become only the sixth skater in the history of the Original Six franchise to appear in 1,000 regular season contests for the franchise. Three of the five skaters ahead of Keith on the all-time games played register for Chicago have played all of their NHL games in the Indian head: Stan Mikita (1,396), Bob Murray and Brent Seabrook (1,008).
Appropriately, Seabrook will quietly pass Murray to become the all-time games played leader by a defenseman in the history of the franchise on the night his long-time partner is celebrated for reaching 1,000 games.
Keith is already second all-time in points (546) for a defenseman in Chicago history, trailing only Doug Wilson (779).
Only four defensemen in Chicago history have won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.
Pierre Pilote set the standard for blue liners in Chicago, winning three straight Norris Trophies (1962-63 to 1964-65).
Wilson won the Norris once (1981-82).
Chris Chelios won the Norris twice while in Chicago (1992-93 and 1995-96).
Keith has also won it twice (2009-10 and 2013-14).
Only two players who have won multiple Norris Trophies aren’t already in the Hall of Fame, and that’s because they’re both active. Keith and Erik Karlsson are in an exclusive club of 13 to win the Norris more than once.
In 2015, Keith scored the biggest goal of his career.
These are all fun fact-based nuggets. And the videos all create an emotional reaction for Blackhawks fans because Keith, with Seabrook, have been part of the fabric of the Chicago Blackhawks organization for longer than anyone else on the current roster.
Keith and Seabrook came up and cut their teeth on awful teams. They played through some shitty rosters and continued to get better, ultimately become central components to three Stanley Cup championship teams.
No player should ever wear the #2 again for the Chicago Blackhawks, and a few short years after he retires Keith will join Chelios and Pilote in the Hall of Fame (Wilson should be in as well for what it’s worth).
It has been a pleasure to watch one of the better defensemen of his generation perform on a nightly basis since the fall of 2005.