Thank you, Duncan Keith

As has been our history, when a significant player on the Blackhawks gets traded we thank them for their time with the franchise.

This one isn’t easy.

Duncan Keith was the 54th player selected in the 2002 NHL Draft. The only player from that draft to appear in more NHL games in the 19 years since the draft is Jay Bouwmeester, who was the third player selected.

Keith was, with Brent Seabrook, the one of the first players to arrive at the United Center that began the turnaround of the franchise from laughing stock to dynasty. He joined the Blackhawks for the beginning of the 2005-06 season and appeared in 81 games as a rookie.

Since his debut, Keith has appeared in 1,192 games. That total ranks second in the history of the Blackhawks behind only Stan Mikita (1,396).

His 625 points rank second all-time among Blackhawks defensemen behind only Doug Wilson (779).

Keith won the Norris Trophy twice with the Blackhawks and was the winner of the Conn Smythe in 2015. The only other players to win the Norris more than once with Chicago are both in the Hall of Fame: Pierre Pilote (three) and Chris Chelios (twice). The Conn Smythe began in 1965, so only three Blackhawks have won it: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Keith.

He also represented the Blackhawks and Canada in two gold medal-winning performances (2010 and 2014).

His credentials are an easy path to the Hall of Fame when his career comes to a close.

But Keith is so much more to Blackhawks fans than his resume.

Keith played through the ugly, awful seasons before Toews and Kane arrived. Those were brutal seasons with attendance in the low thousands. When Keith and Seabrook arrived, you could hear the beer vendors from the opposite side of the arena.

He developed into one of the best defenseman of his generation. He carried the Blackhawks’ blue line into an era of dominance.

Many will remember him blocking a Patrick Marleau shot with his face in 2010. With 12:30 remaining in the second period of the series-clinching win over the Sharks, Keith was hit in the face. Seven minutes later, Keith was back on the ice missing a few teeth.

“It’s just missing teeth,” Keith said after the game. “It’s a long way from the heart.”

Heart is what Keith was for the Blackhawks. He and Seabrook became the game’s ultimate shut-down pair as the Blackhawks won their three championships. Over time, age caught up with both and they were separated as a pair. But their legacies will be tied together in the history books.

Keith’s number will never be worn by another Blackhawks player. It shouldn’t. Indeed, whomever wears the A on their jersey that will be vacated by Keith will have a heavy responsibility. He was one of the finest to ever wear the Indian head sweater.

Duncan Keith wasn’t brought in as a free agent like Marian Hossa or Brian Campbell. He wasn’t acquired in a trade like Patrick Sharp. He was drafted and developed. And, at the time that he was drafted, the Blackhawks were at the bottom of the league. He played a huge role in changing that.

Thank you, Duncan, for everything you have meant and will mean to the Chicago Blackhawks.

33 thoughts on “Thank you, Duncan Keith

  1. Nice tribute to an all time great, uf Klefbum is unable to comeback hopefully have a big year in Edmonton. Blackhawks blueline will never be the same without 2 and 7 that’s for sure.

  2. I wish I could tell him in person but Thank You Duncan for helping guide the Hawks from the bottom ,all the way up to the top. Great job # 2 !!!!!

  3. Keith , the greatest of the Great ! Good Luck with the Oil ! Pops 4

  4. I don’t think words can adequately express the admiration and gratitude of Hawks fans for Duncan Keith’s contributions to this franchise! In years to come he will be the “legend” that Chicago sports fans will describe as a tough, fearless, talented and successful workhorse of a storied franchise!
    He’s a future Hall of Famer whose jersey will no doubt be raised to the hallowed rafters alongside so many other Hawks legends.
    Thank you, Duncan, for some incredible memories, worthy moments of pure glory and those 3 cups that will be forever remembered by me- a 60+ year diehard Hawks fan. And you? You’re already one of my legends!!

  5. Duncan Keith one of the best I’ve seen playing for the Hawks. I’m from membertou, unamaki, NS CANADA. First game April 2006 my 50th birthday. Been to a few Hawks games since, gonna miss no. 2 big time.

  6. you will always be a Blackhawk. Dont blame you for leaving Collton and most of all going to be closer to your son. All the best Duncs our heart is also along what from our teeth

  7. Great write-up!!!!!!

    I preferred Duncs to stay —-but if this is what he wants……

    A true Blackhawk Warrior!

  8. Thank you enjoyed watching every moment that you played,I am a long time black hawk fan and remember the lean years well.All the best in any new adventure you may take on.

    One Happy Fan

  9. Thanks Duncs for all the great moments as a Blackhawk. I appreciated every game you played and you were one of my favourite players. It was a pleasure to watch you play with your fitness and your knowledge for the gam. Good luck with your new team and hope to see you in the Hawks organization in some capacity soon

  10. Yes Thank You Duncan Keith! You were much appreciated. Wouldn’t have the three Cups without you. All the best in your future. Can’t wait to see you in the UC. There will be the National Anthem roar and your tribute roar. Don’t know which one will be louder?

    Thank You

  11. Well done Tab.

    The Madhouse on Madison will be rocking when Edmonton comes to town.

  12. With all the discussion of a “rebuild” I need to ask: what are we rebuilding?

    Hopefully, it’s a Stanley Cup winning team (although I have yet to hear anyone in the Blackhawks front office say that).

    If so, then how do we rebuild after the loss of players with exception character who led the team on and off the ice? Who will show the same leadership that was arguably the most important factor in those Cup years?

    Who replaces the leadership of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews?

    I realize Toews is attempting to comeback as a player. Hopefully, if that fails they will find a leadership role for him. They will need it.

  13. Hate to see him NOT finish his career in Chicago….but, strictly from a rebuild or team standpoint, SB did ok

  14. Had a beer or two with him in his Norfolk days. Best of luck to him and his family.

  15. Mike R- Stan did “ok”? He made out like a bandit.

    Duncs is a first ballot HOF’er and his number will hang in the rafters one day. From late second round pick to 3 time Stanley Cup champ, two time Norris winner, Conn Smythe winner, two time Olympic gold medal champion, and one if the best blue liners of his generation and Blackhawks history.

  16. welcome back to 1998-2006 era. cant wait for FAs coming here past their prime.

  17. I remember when the Hawks won the cup in Philly. I was working for the Flyers and my job was to take the Hawks equipment to the airport. I was in their locker room waiting for them to get their bags and put the equipment in them. Comes around 2 am , the room is starting to empty out and I was wearing my Flyers uniform shirt, Keith sees me and say” I am sorry bud” lol he just won the cup and he was telling me he was sorry. I said “ don’t feel sorry for me, you just won the Stanley Cup!” He was just a class individual. Good luck with the Oilers, they are getting a class guy off and on the ice!

  18. Thanks for the memories Duncs!

    Good luck w/the Oil and being closer to family

  19. bill white wore 2. and they should retire it ! the best since wilson in my opinion

  20. Next life event, possibly another cup, but definitely a trip to Hockey Hall of Fame. Good luck Dunc, best blue liner ever!

  21. NHL basketball on ice, loyalty, what a joke, lawyers, Bettman, money is the King, and the fan is the sucker, stay away, and you might get a hockey game.

  22. 2, 7, 10, 19, 81, 88.
    With the goalie pulled and those 6 guys on the ice you knew the game was getting tied up and headed to OT.

    10 could come over the boards to give the forwards a blow and nary a step woul be missed.

    Ditto with 4 when the d men needed a blow.

    Those 7 numbers will hang in the rafters someday.

    Thank you #2 for being a class act on and off the ice.

  23. Yeah the big 4 and Dunks and Seabs.

    That is what it takes to have a dynasty an elite staff like that. PIT LA TB do not have that.

  24. Duncan Keith was a warrior on the ice. On and off the ice he led by example. I remember the first time I saw Duncs play live at the UC(maybe 2006-2007) and I was shocked how fast he could skate, especially backwards and in full control. You could see the talent was there. So many quality moments watching that guy at the UC from 2008 on. Certainly one of the greatest to ever put on the Hawks sweater. He played under control almost all of the time, but when an opposing player crossed “the line” with Duncs he would see red and just take his vengeance out on that player. It resulted a few times with suspensions. The payback to Daniel Sedin was a classic, just to name one. Of course Duncs chimed in after Seabrook lit up David Backus with the famous “Wakey, Wakey Backus”.

    The core continues to shrink with only Kane and Toews left. What a team that we were so fortunate to have experienced for some truly exciting years of Blackhawks hockey. Keith was a huge part of that group. As a fan I am grateful to have watched Duncs for so many years. A class act. I wish him nothing but success moving forward.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  25. DYNASTY. Thats all you can say.

    And thats without first 10 draft picks every yr or 92 m payrolls in mid 90s when every other team had 25?

    DYNASTY player.

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