When the puck drops at the United Center on Friday evening, Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith will begin playing in the 700th regular season game of his NHL career.
Keith, 31, became the only active player to win multiple Norris Trophies last summer, joining Brian Leetch, Larry Robinson and Rod Langway with two. Chris Chelios won two of his three Norris Trophies in a Blackhawks sweater (1993, 1996), and Pierre Pilote won three in the Indian head. Keith also has two gold medals from the last two Winter Olympics.
Only 26* active defensemen have played more regular season games than Keith, who ranks ninth in career regular season points among active NHL rearguards.
He currently ranks fifth in Blackhawks history with 377 points (67 goals, 310 assists), and is 100 behind Pilote entering Friday night’s game.
Keith was the 54th overall selection in the 2002 NHL Draft, and joined the Hawks organization after a year and a half in East Lansing at Michigan State (56 games over less than two seasons).
Assuming they stay healthy, Keith and Brent Seabrook (695 games including Friday night) will both pass Doug Jarrett (721 games) for fifth in games played in the organization’s history. Seabrook enters Friday night’s game seven points shy of 300 for his career.
* – Chris Pronger, Sheldon Souray and Mattias Ohlund are still considered active by the NHL, but haven’t played in a regular season game since 2012, 2013 and 2011, respectively. Including them makes 29 “active” players ahead of Keith.