Duncan Keith has been a premier defenseman in the NHL for most of his career. The Chicago Blackhawks have been lucky to have a player like this for as long as they have. He is going to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame player when he is done and don’t be surprised if the Chicago Blackhawks retire his number. When you think of the most important players in the history of the franchise, Keith has to be in that conversation.
Duncan Keith reached an amazing milestone for the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
Keith was one of the pillars on the team that won the Stanley Cup three times in a span of six seasons. He has won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman twice and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP once. It has been an incredible career all around.
On Thursday night, Keith scored the Blackhawks’ opening goal against the Detroit Red Wings. Despite the goal’s meaning in the game, it was a very important goal for him in his career. This goal was Keith’s 104th career goal. The goal put him in sole possesion of fourth place on the Blackhawks all-time goals list by a defenseman. He passed Brent Seabrook who just retired with 103. He only trails Doug Mohns (116), Bob Murray (132), and Doug Wilson (225).
At 37 years old, he has an outside chance of catching Mohns for third but Murray and Wilson appear to be out of the equation. He hasn’t scored more than six in a season since 2015-16 when he had nine.
Keith was never really known for being a goal guy from the back end and he still managed to find himself this high on the list. He was always known for making big-time plays in the offensive zone which led to him having a lot of assists. As a result, he is the Hawks’ second all-time leading scoring defenseman with 624 points. Only Doug Wilson’s 779 points rank higher. He needs 35 more assists to catch Wilson for the most in team history from the back end.
Keith may never catch Wilson for goals or points but the eras were way different. Keith was the better player in his prime. For a long time, he was the best in the NHL. You could argue that he was just as important to their championship success as Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews. He deserves so much credit and it was nice to see him get this milestone.
Unfortunately, the Hawks ended up losing the hockey game 4-1 to the Red Wings. It put a dent in their playoff chances but it isn’t over yet. All we can do now is hope that Keith and the Hawks get it together before thier big series with the Nashville Predators next week. For now, we should just all appreciate the time we have had with Duncan Keith on our team.