Knee surgery… Chicago fans know all too well what knee surgery means to our superstars and teams, advice it’s pretty much a knife in our hearts. However hockey players are different beasts.
Fans shouldn’t worry too much about the Blackhawks announcement yesterday that defenseman Duncan Keith who is the reigning Conn Smythe winner and two time Norris Trophy Winner, underwent surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus, and will be out four-six weeks.
Keith has played a lot of hockey for Chicago over the last few years. To be honest, Keith arguably puts the most wear and tear on his body and is among the NHL minutes leaders every season. Saturday’s 4-1 victory vs. the Blue Jackets, Keith played 25 minutes, 34 seconds, that is no small potatoes in the NHL.
Keith’s injury is a blow to the Hawks, whose core defensemen have been as reliable and healthy as any other team the last few seasons. The Hawks play in one of the NHL’s toughest divisions, and every point could make a difference at the end of the year. Keith is likely headed for long-term injured reserve, giving the Blackhawks some cap relief. The team, who are already spread thin at the blue line, may look to acquire another blue liner, while Keith is recovering. Keith’s absence will give youngsters Trevor van Riemsdyk and Viktor Svedberg, who have a combined 30+ career games between them, an opportunity to show Chicago and the coaching staff what they can do.
In my opinion I think this rest both mentally and physically will help Keith in the long term, and this isn’t the first time the Blackhawks have had to move along while one of their stars is injured.