Duncan Keith expects to be ready by regular season

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Cynics might snicker about players who bowed out of the World Cup, yet it might pay dividends for the likes of Duncan Keith.

As both the star defenseman and Chicago Blackhawks staffers noted to CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers, there’s a lot of optimism that he’ll be ready to go for the regular season.

“It was disappointing I wasn’t ready to go for the World Cup,” Keith said. “But maybe I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I didn’t take the time to let it rest and not start skating again until a couple of weeks ago.”

Keith underwent knee surgery last October and dealt with some setbacks this summer. While it’s a situation for Chicago to watch – he’s going to be withheld from certain preseason activities and likely games – it sounds like he made the wise move.

Knee issues can be tricky, so you never know if this story will end up being something that people remember wistfully if the veteran blueliner struggles to stay healthy in 2016-17.

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Yes, it’s true that the Blackhawks have some defensive storylines to follow before the season begins.

They must monitor Keith’s health and also determine a role for long-time defenseman Michal Rozsival. Getting Brian Campbell back in the mix is a pretty big deal, too.

Still, after defense was under the spotlight last fall, now it’s about filling some holes on offense. Check out this post to get acquainted with some of the prospects jockeying for playing time or even jobs as Blackhawks training camp gets into full swing.