Nothing to be ‘alarmed about,’ but no guarantee Keith will be ready to start season

AP
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Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman can’t guarantee that defenseman Duncan Keith will be healthy enough to start the regular season next month.

“He’ll be ready when he is ready,” Bowman told reporters today, per Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. “But it’s nothing that we’re alarmed about.”

Keith was replaced on Team Canada’s World Cup squad by Jay Bouwmeester. According to Bowman, it was Keith who made the call to sit out the tournament as he continues to rehab the knee injury he sustained last season. The 33-year-old has reportedly been a participant at informal skates back in Chicago,

One of the best defensemen in the world, Keith will be missed by Team Canada. He averaged 21:06 of ice time in the 2014 Olympics, second to only Shea Weber (21:50) for his country.

Without Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, a right shot, has been moved to the left side of Canada’s defense. Bouwmeester, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Jake Muzzin all shoot left, but Muzzin is expected to be the healthy scratch when Canada opens against the Czech Republic on Saturday.