Appropriately, the last time the Chicago Blackhawks visit Joe Louis Arena will mark a significant milestone in the career of a future Hall of Famer.
Friday night will mark the 900th career regular season game for Duncan Keith.
Keith joined the Blackhawks organization when Chicago selected him 54th overall at the 2002 NHL Draft.
On Oct. 5, 2005, Keith skated 24:18 in his NHL debut against the Mighty Ducks. The Blackhawks lost that game.
Chicago lost a lot that first season – 43 times in regulation – as the 22-year-old rookie defenseman skated 81 games. Keith did score nine goals with 12 assists that year while averaging 23:26 on the ice per night.
Fast forward almost 12 years, and look at how far he and the Blackhawks have come!
Keith has won the Norris Trophy twice.
Keith has won a Winter Olympics gold medal twice.
Keith won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2015.
And Keith has been a core member of three Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks teams.
When he steps on the ice tonight, Keith will join three other skaters – Jay Bouwmeester, Rick Nash and Matt Stajan – as the only four to have played in 900 games from the 2002 NHL Draft class. He is already one of only four – Nash, Alex Steen and Alex Semin – to have produced 500 points from that class; no other defenseman from that class has reached 400 career points.
Keith will become the eighth skater in Blackhawks history to appear in 900 games for the organization, joining his longtime partner Brent Seabrook.
He might not be done with Norris Trophies, or Stanley Cups, or Conn Smythes. But we can rest assured of the final award that will come on his hockey resume.