Tag: Duncan Keith

Tampa Bay Lightning v Arizona Coyotes

The Victor: Hedman sets up Paquette’s goal (Video)


If you want a contrast between defensemen Victor Hedman and Kyle Cumiskey, merely watch the goal that put the Tampa Bay Lightning up 3-2 against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3.

Hedman generated his second beautiful (and primary) assist of the night setting up this tally by Cedric Paquette, while Cumiskey was exposed on a rare shift:

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook rightfully get a lot of attention, yet the way the 2015 Stanley Cup Final is going, Hedman might just become a mainstream star. (He’s already a star to many, after all.)

Hanifin feels he has NHL ‘mindset,’ but won’t be ‘mad’ if he goes back to college

Vermont v Boston College

CHICAGO — Noah Hanifin wants to play in the NHL next season. That’s his goal.

That being said, if he’s drafted by a team that feels he should spend a bit more time developing his game, he’ll take the team’s advice. The Boston College defensemen feels he’s ready, but he also knows the NHL is a different beast.

“Making that jump, you have to be very mature,” Hanifin said Monday. “In college, it’s fun and stuff, you’re playing with your buddies. For some guys, that’s kind of the end of it. They just want to get their degree. If you want to make that jump, you have to realize what you’re getting into. If you’re going to take someone’s spot, he could have a family, kids. It’s a big deal. It’s a business. That takes a while for some guys to grasp that idea.”

“I think I am at that mindset right now,” he added. “What I got at B.C. this year was great for me. I felt like I got a lot better. If a team wants me to go back and do that again, I’m not going to be mad about that. I’ll be happy to keep going back and working hard. I have plenty of time. I’m 18 years old.”

The list of 18-year-old defensemen who’ve had big seasons in the NHL is a fairly short one. Phil Housley did for the Sabres in 1982-83. Ditto for Bobby Orr with the Bruins in 1966-67. And, of course, Aaron Ekblad did it this past season for the Panthers.

“I like watching him a lot,” Hanifin said of Ekblad. “He’s an offensive defenseman, but he’s a big, strong guy. He played a ton of minutes in Florida. It just shows, if you have what it takes, you can do it at that age. It’s not impossible to do.”

But many of the top blue-liners you see playing today needed more seasoning. Duncan Keith, to name just one, was drafted in 2002; his first season with the Blackhawks wasn’t until 2005-06.

“No matter what happens, you have to have a belief in yourself,” said Hanifin. “You have to know everything happens for a reason.”

Related: Difference of opinion: Craig Button has Hanifin 12th on final draft rankings

To Leetch, Keith is a clear Hall of Famer

Duncan Keith

It’s far too early to assess Duncan Keith’s career as a whole, but there’s also no denying that he’s accomplished more at the age of 31 than most defensemen will in their entire career. And it seems to be enough as far as retired defenseman Brian Leetch is concerned to assert that the Blackhawks blueliner will someday join him in the Hall of Fame.

“I don’t know how it couldn’t be looked at that way,” Leetch told NHL.com. “From the eye test. From watching him on the ice. His age. And then you bring up the individual and team awards, I’m not sure how you’d be able to keep him out.”

Another Hall of Fame defenseman, Scott Niedermayer, wouldn’t put up much of a counter argument. He agrees that if Keith hasn’t already secured his spot in the Hall of Fame, then Chicago winning the Stanley Cup this year would probably be enough to solidify his spot.

Keith has already won the Norris Trophy twice, two Olympic gold medals, and he’s currently battling for his third championship. He might also end up with the Conn Smythe Trophy as he’s recorded 19 points in 19 playoff games and is averaging 31:19 minutes per contest. That level of work is something that Leetch can relate to as he was also logging similarly big minutes with the Rangers when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1994.

Unsurprisingly, Keith’s biggest concern right now isn’t what happens after his career, it’s what will transpire over the coming days. Tampa Bay and Chicago are even going into Game 3 on Monday.