The Chicago Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups since 2009, and can now be considered a hockey dynasty.
Led by captain Jonathan Toews, Chicago saw contributions across the board from players such as Antoine Vermette, Kimmo Timonen and Teuvo Teravainen. But the team’s unquestioned star of the postseason was Conn Smythe winner, Duncan Keith.
“There is nothing that Duncan Keith doesn’t do as well or better than everyone else in the league,” said Toews.
Duncan Keith was the heart and soul of this Blackhawks. The 31-year-old amassed 21 points in 23 postseason games for Chicago, which included a franchise playoff best 18 assists. Although, the scoring was just a small part of his impact on the team. Keith was an impressive +16 during the Stanley Cup run.
In addition, he became the fourth non-goalie to record more than 700 minutes of ice time in a single postseason. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane get most of the recognition when it comes to Blackhawks hockey, but Keith solidified himself as one of hockey’s best, a title his father couldn’t ever imagine coming into fruition.
“I did dream that he could make the NHL, as he kept climbing the ladder and getting better as a kid. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever visualize him winning the Conn Smythe. Until about two weeks ago and I thought,” You know what? He does have a shot at it.”
There was little doubt that Keith would win the prestigious Conn Smythe Trophy. He received all 18 first-place votes from the Professional Hockey Writers Association, making his win a clean sweep.
“No one more deserving,” veteran Blackhawks center Brad Richards stated. “Right from the first game against Nashville I saw a different level of hockey that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen on my team. Just how he kept doing it and never showed signs of fatigue. He’s probably the best player I’ve ever seen live. It was unbelievable what he did out there.”
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews added the following about the team’s defensive leader.
“It’s about time.” “We all know he’s going to go down as one of the great players to play the game. In our room, we knew that before the playoffs, but he keeps proving it time and time again. So I couldn’t be happier for a guy like that. It’s really incredible”
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Keith will retire as a Chicago Blackhawk. He is signed through the 2023 season, and any future Stanley Cup victories will rely heavily on his play and leadership.