BLOG: Duncan Keith thanks Chicago for farewell to hockey

Earlier today, Blackhawk great Duncan Keith announced his retirement after 17 years in the NHLall but one of which he spent in Chicago.

With his 8-year-old son, Colton, by his side, Keith spoke about the end of his hockey career surrounded by family, friends and teammates from the Edmonton Oilers organization, where he finished his time on the ice. Through held back tears, the star defenseman recalled his time in the league and thanked those who helped him throughout his career, including several from the Blackhawks organization.

Here’s what the former Chicago defenseman had to say during his emotional farewell to hockey.

Thanking the City of Chicago…

I want to start by thanking the Blackhawks organization for giving me the chance to fulfill my childhood dream of being able to put on an NHL jersey. Chicago Blackhawks, Original Six. Many thanks to Rocky Wirtz, Danny Wirtz and the whole Wirtz family for giving me this opportunity. I know there are a lot of people in this organization who have asked me to get drafted and give me a chance in the league. I have a huge thank you to Dale Tallon, I know he was instrumental in my selection to the Blackhawks.

At the beginning of his professional career…

I started my professional career in Norfolk as a miner, and I owe a big thank you to Trent Yawney. He really helped me lay the foundation for a professional career and taught me what it was like to be a defenseman in this league and to believe in myself, that I could play defense being a small defender and using my quickness and my speed, and my heart and my determination. So thanks to Trent.

Video: Keith announces his retirement

On her bond with Brent Seabrook…

When I think of those teammates and the special bonds and memories we’ve created, one guy I hold dearest to my heart is Brent Seabrook. I had the chance to play with him for over 1,000 games as defense partners, as defense teammates. I think we have the defenseman record of playing the most games together on an NHL team. So many great memories with Brent…

… Brent was instrumental in my hockey career when I won my two Norris trophies. I’ve always played my best hockey playing with Brent Seabrook, a big, solid right-handed defenseman. I couldn’t ask for a better player, a better person to play my whole career in Chicago with him. Good thing he was there I think you’re joking that I might not have been able to attend all the practices or games if I hadn’t had him pick me up to get to the airport at the hour, and so very grateful for a teammate like Brent. A selfless leader who was huge for, not only my career, but I think everyone in Chicago at that time.

Video: Thank you, Duncan Keith

On Chicago Blackhawks fans…

I would also like to thank the Blackhawk fans for their passion and support over the years during my time in Chicago. They really guided and helped us, encouraged us through the ups and downs, and I had many great memories of my time in Chicago. When I decided to turn the page and leave Chicago, it was a very difficult decision, but a decision that, in hindsight, was one of the best decisions to make, and the focus was on that so that I can be closer to my son Colton and play more in front of him.

And Keith’s son, Colton, on the end of his father’s career, which ended the press conference…

He’s been in the NHL his whole life, and it’s different that he’s retiring for his life.

About Jimmie P. Ricks

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