From a hockey standpoint, this past year was incredible for Duncan Keith. The same can’t be said for the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman’s off-the-ice life, though.
Keith spoke candidly about raising his son after going through a divorce – and the rumors that surfaced regarding former teammate Patrick Sharp – in an interview with the Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh.
“I’m not going to lie: It has been a long year and extremely difficult,” Keith said. “I know there was a lot of talk throughout the year regarding Sharpie and that was all a complete fabrication as well. My divorce had nothing to do with anything except what was between me and Kelly-Rae, and that’s where I’d like to keep it.”
The 32-year-old* explained that dealing with the tough situation meant finding a sanctuary in the form of “turning the switch to hockey.”
Just about anyone would agree that the results were stupendous: an All-Star Game appearance, that memorable Conn Smythe run and his third career Stanley Cup victory. Sometimes anecdotal accomplishments stand out to people as much as anything else, and Keith’s heavy-minute iron man routine in the postseason likely made many lasting impressions.
It’s not just about the personal glory, though, as the elite blueliner pondered the connections he’s made. Keith explained that Sharp ranks along with Brent Seabrook as “one of his two best friends in hockey.” He seemed wistful about the departures of Sharp, Johnny Oduya and Brandon Saad.
“Anytime you play with someone for a long time you’re going to develop chemistry, a bond and a friendship and I was really close with those three guys,” Keith said. “Sharpie, I played with for 10 years. It’s tough to say goodbye …”
These tough times serve as a reminder that summers aren’t always just for recovering from the physical turmoil of a long season; they’re also an opportunity for players to see their families when they need them the most.
The full article is a great read, so check it out here.
* – His birthday was on Thursday, when that Chicago Tribune story came out.