Duncan Keith Could Join Elite Company

The opinions of most hockey writers and analysts is that, should the Blackhawks complete their third Stanley Cup victory on Monday night, Duncan Keith will skate away with the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason Most Valuable Player.

And rightfully so.

Keith enters Monday night’s Game Six with 20 points (two goals, 18 assists) in these playoffs, which ranks fifth among all skaters. His plus-15 rating is four better than Tampa’s Victor Hedman, who ranks second in the postseason. And his 31:09 average nightly ice time is more than seven minutes greater than Hedman and almost five full minutes per game greater than Brent Seabrook, who ranks second among Final participants (26:13).

He has been exceptional throughout the postseason, and certainly deserves another individual honor if/when the Hawks clinch the championship.

Adding a Conn Smythe Trophy to Keith’s resume will put him in some of the most elite company in the history of the game.

Brian Leetch

Since they started awarding the Conn Smythe to the playoff MVP in 1965, only nine times has it been handed to a defenseman (and two of those went to a single player):

  • Serge Savard, Montreal – 1969
  • Bobby Orr, Boston – 1970, 1972
  • Larry Robinson, Montreal – 1978
  • Al MacInnis, Calgary – 1989
  • Brian Leetch, NY Rangers – 1994
  • Scott Stevens, New Jersey – 2000
  • Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit – 2002
  • Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim – 2007

That list includes eight of the best to ever play the game.

But consider what these three legends have in common:

Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr – 8 Norris Trophies, 2 Stanley Cup championships, 2 Conn Smythe Trophies

Larry Robinson

Larry Robinson – 2 Norris Trophies, 6 Stanley Cup championships, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy

Nicklas Lidstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom – 7 Norris Trophies, 4 Stanley Cup championships, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy

Keith would join these three all-time greats as the only four defensemen to win a Conn Smythe, multiple Stanley Cup championships and multiple Norris Trophies. Only one other defenseman, Leetch, won multiple Norris Trophies and the Conn Smythe; he won the Cup only once with the Rangers.

Add to Keith’s remarkable NHL resume his two gold medals and we’re watching one of the best to ever play the game.

Duncan Keith

25 thoughts on “Duncan Keith Could Join Elite Company

  1. Gary Bettman’s smug face in that photo…”I’m going to encourage the owners to lock you out…twice. Muuuaaahhhhh.”

    Keith’s great. He has made me stop accosting the Wild for playing Suter so much. A) Because Keith is playing more ice time…and really B) he is playing so well. Okay, okay…Suter might play better if he played less…I just couldn’t stop.

  2. Great post Tab…

    With today’s salary cap, it makes this feat even more amazing!

    Without a great team in front of him, this would not have been possible.

    Let’s end this thing tonight! Go Hawks!!

  3. Generational talent. The cap hit this guy is locked in at for the next 7 years is ridiculous.

    The best overall defender in the league since Lidstrom retired. Very lucky to have a special player like that locked up for the rest of his prime years and probably whatever he wants to play after.

  4. Keith IMO will always be the 1st piece of this Hawks core group. With all due respect to Rocky, John, Stan, Scotty and Q, Dunks was the 1st player and started this run. I’ve made this comment many times but from the moment Keith put on the Indian head sweater he was a guy that stood out among his peers! From the moment he broke camp he NEVER went down, he is a exceptional player and it would be fitting to have him earn a Conn Smythe along with the other 2 franchise changers Toews and Kane.

    He didn’t have a great game 5 so lets hope he has a great game 6! Go Hawks!

  5. And to think, Kieth could not crack the 2003-04 Blackhawks line up in a year they went 20-43-11-8 for a whole 59 points. Of course 04-05 was the lock out year, so Kieth played an astounding 154 games in the AHL.

  6. Great article. No doubt he is one of the best ever. When his career is over it is very possible he will go down as the best ever defenseman to lace ’em up for the Hawks. Here’s hoping he has a great game tonight and gets to hoist a couple of pieces of glorious hardware.

  7. Tab – nice testimonial to a great player who is totally dedicated to his craft.
    Atta boy Dunc!

  8. Keith is the leader of some Blackhawks elite D-Men we fans have had the privilege to watch play over the last several years. His play throughout this entire playoff run has been spectacular. If the team should win, no better choice for Conn Smythe could be made.
    Now it’s getting closer to time for the puck to drop. It would be great to see the team have a big game tonight.
    Go Blackhawks!!!!!!

  9. I’ve come to shy away from the word elite, but it fits perfectly here when I read the article. The hockey rebirth in Chicago could never have reached the heights of today without Dunc. His image in 2010 with Cup overhead and mouth open showing his missing teeth is etched in my mind forever. To me, he is already the best Dman to play home games on W Madison.

    Cooper is coming off as phony to me. I really dislike phony people.

    Hope everyone enjoys the game, LGH

  10. ^If i’m sick, you’re crazy :) have fun wall!

    am i the only one that misses the ‘race for the puck’?

  11. Wall – Mr. Exclamation point.
    “Prediction – Tampa Bay will win big tonight …. Hawks luck is about to run out!!! ”

    I am not a long time poster here but I cannot hold back any longer.
    I could NEVER, EVER, EVER bet against my team or trash talk my team like you do Sir. Critique is one thing and we all do that, but to come out and make statements on here like the above TURNS MY STOMACH. Makes me ill. And to me brings your loyalty into question. I can’t understand your thought process and probably never will.
    I live, breathe, and bleed BLACKHAWKS.
    WTF? Do you? Really?

  12. holy ****, Hawks win. Still think 19 shoulda won all 3, go ahead and debate me on that, you’ll lose. Who gives a **** about these stupid media trophies anyway. Melting down in San Diego, What a win.

  13. Hey Nick! …incredible game, breathless, last 4 minutes not sure how I survived…Hawks fans far and wide, north and south, east and west, what a great feeling it is.

  14. Duncan Keith WOW! Great season! Fantastic playoff run.. You are superhuman..
    Conn Smythe. …Deservingly so!
    Love my Hawks….

  15. Morrison…We did it! Lion in the Savanna! Cooper on CBC interview…. ” it hurts to be on this side, never saw myself here….I’m sick, I’m sick for the team, I’m sick for the staff, I’m sick for me”…..Geez, thats tooooooo bad…..Thats a good thing, right? What an arse.

  16. …loved the boo”s at Bettman…then he quieted the crowd by calling us a dynasty…turned to cheers. Guy is a master. Noy sure if Jedi or Dark Side but a master.

  17. Beautiful win-now I can get my life back! But it was worth it.

    Say this isn’t you Wall but an imposter–“prediction- TB will win big toniteā€¦ Hawks luck is about to run out!!!”

  18. Noonan 96…i believe its supposed to be some kind of reverse karma, superstition good luck thing…you be the judge.

  19. Anyway..Noonan 96 been great reading your comments, same to all, I’m sure we will keep it going with all the crap thats about to hit the fan, but for now its our moment to take a bow…thanks to everyone and Tab.

  20. MM, I wasn’t kidding. It’s been an indescribable honour to watch this win, with my ‘lil family, far away from my home of Chicago. And to see them do it for the first time in their home coulours, I haven’t dealt with it in the most favorable way: I’m pretty much chemically deranged at this point, but in a good way. Enjoy the win, we might not see anther for a while… But then again, we still have at the very least 19 and 88 and 65 and 2 and 4 and 81 and 86 and Panarin and… It must really suck to play against the Hawks.

  21. Keith is a freaking force of nature! He is a beast and we all should appreciate what a great leader he is to our team. Go Hawks!

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