With the Blackhawks, as we once fondly knew them, being dismantled and the final two members of the One Goal era’s future(s) in question as NHL free agency opens tomorrow, it’s fitting that another Blackhawks legend from that era officially hangs his skates up.
Duncan Keith – who spent 16 seasons with the Blackhawks before being traded to Edmonton last summer – spoke to the media this afternoon regarding his retirement from the NHL.
Keith opened his retirement speech the way his career began — with the Chicago Blackhawks. The future Hall of Famer thanked the Blackhawks for allowing him to live his dream of playing in the NHL and specifically thanked Dale Tallon, Trent Yawney, Joel Quenneville, and Stan Bowman for his 16 seasons in Chicago, which included a trio of Stanley Cup championships.
An emotional Duncan Keith thanked many of his teammates from the One Goal era of Blackhawks hockey and called their bond and desire to win there special, but Keith was especially thankful for his long-time blue line mate Brent Seabrook. Keith said that Seabrook’s leadership and skill were primary contributors to him winning two Norris Trophies during his career.
Keith played only 64 games as an Oiler after being acquired from the Blackhawks last summer. Still, he said he thoroughly enjoyed his time in Edmonton last season and called former teammates Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl “the two best players in the world” and noted that he believes they will lead Edmonton to a Stanley Cup.
Keith also said, regarding the potential departures of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, that he can’t recommend Edmonton enough, calling it a wonderful family environment and atmosphere where players like Kane and Toews can compete for another ring.
As far as why Keith decided that now is the time to hang ’em up, Keith cited his age, body, and family as the driving factors behind his decision, thanking his parents and his son Colton (who accompanied him at the podium) for their love and support.
“I always took a lot of pride in my training and being ready,” he said. “I just felt the last few years there was a change in how I felt. I still love the game. Always will.”
Ultimately, Keith said he wanted to retire while he still has some good hockey left in him, and he believes that he accomplished that goal today.
You can watch the entire press conference here: