Duncan Keith is one of my all-time favorite Hockey players.
Not just an all-time favorite Chicago Blackhawks player, he is on the Mount Rushmore of my all-time favorite players I’ve ever seen play the game. Seeing him get traded to the Edmonton Oilers has been a weird trip. When the Blackhawks were in the middle of their dynasty run a few years back, I never thought I would see Keith, of all players, ever play in another sweater. It seemed impossible.
Well, anything is possible. Thank you, Kevin Garnett.
Keith now moves on to a new chapter in his hockey career and his life, playing closer to home with the Edmonton Oilers, something that was a priority to him as he got into the later years of his playing career. In a press conference on Monday night following the trade being made official, Keith reflected on his time with the Blackhawks and his new opportunities with Edmonton.
"I felt like the Oilers were a great fit for me. I'm excited to try to win a Stanley Cup in Edmonton."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) July 12, 2021
This summer was not the first time that we had heard that Keith wanted to play closer to his son in British Columbia, but this was the first time we knew that Keith was the one that asked to be traded. It was the right time for both him and the team to move forward with a trade and making it a reality for Keith to be close to home.
Duncan Keith on being close to his son in Penticton: "Last year was pretty difficult, not being able to see him. I went almost three months without seeing him, then another two months. … As time went on, I knew I didn’t want to go those long periods of time without seeing him."
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 12, 2021
One of the biggest reasons for concerns from the Oilers fan community was the fact that Keith is coming to the team having played 16 NHL seasons, leading the Blackhawks in ice-time in each one of those seasons, and seems to have his best hockey well behind him. Even at 37-years-old, turning 38 on Friday, Keith sees it differently.
Duncan Keith, who turns 38 on Friday, on the critics and what he's got left in the tank: "I feel like I got a lot. Once we hit the ice, we're going to see who's a step behind out there." #Blackhawks
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) July 13, 2021
16 seasons. That is a long friggin’ time.
Keith’s career may never be matched with the Blackhawks in the modern-day NHL and even though the last few seasons have not gone the way that Keith, the ultimate competitor, would have wanted, the full-scope of his time in Chicago will live on forever in Blackhawks and Chicago sports history.
"The last few years were a little tougher, but sometimes you need those tough times to appreciate the good times."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) July 13, 2021
Now more than ever, we are being reminded to enjoy the good times with the Blackhawks.
One of the very best to wear the #Blackhawks sweater.
Thank you, Duncs! pic.twitter.com/fdgcXHSwIl
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 12, 2021
Good friggin times, man.
I will always appreciate the player and person Duncan Keith was in his time with the Blackhawks. I hope he finds success and happiness on and off the ice with the Oilers.