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Duncan Keith Post-Awards Q&A

06/23/2010 10:15 PM

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Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith
addresses the media after winning the 2010 James Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman.

DUNCAN KEITH: Since I got cut off there, I had a couple of people I wanted to thank. There's a guy by the name of Dr. Jim Gary. He's a sports mental coach, I guess, they call him now. But when I turned pro, back in Norfolk he's been a guy that's been huge for my career and developing the mental side of my game. I think that he's a really big reason. Maybe I should have thrown him in there in my speech.

I wasn't playing well, maybe the first round of the playoffs I started talking to him more in depth again and really just one talk I felt like I turned my game around, you know.

He's, like I said, I've used him ever since I came in the Blackhawks organization. And as far as I'm concerned, he's the best thing we've got in that organization.

Also, one more thing.
Brent Seabrook, I was going to throw him in. He's my good old "D" partner, and my good buddy. So I hope he can be up here one day, too. We can get him up there.

A lot was said about your teeth. You really had some fun with it too, didn't you?

KEITH: Well, I did. You know, I think just coming from a small town, you know, Fort Frances (Ont.) and Penticton, British Columbia.

People kind of looked at me with the long hair and the beard and no teeth, so I heard a lot of the jokes that I look like I'm from the woods and the bush. I am, you know. That's the way I am and where I am from, and I'm proud of that.

But to lose my teeth was tough, and nobody wants to go through that.

But a dentist did a good job, and I got some teeth in now.

Are they just temporary?

They're just temporary ones. It was pretty painful when they did it after the year. I was in there for literally seven hours after being in there for two hours after the game when it happened. So, seven hours in a dentist's chair and still lots of work to do.

You know, but like I said earlier, when it happened, there's lots of guys it happens to. Keith Tkachuk, he got a slap shot right in the face right in front of the net. It was at our game when we were playing him.

You know, that sort of thing happens.

What does that mean to win a trophy like that and the confidence?

KEITH: It is, you know, just I can't say enough about Mike Green and Drew Doughty. I trained with Greener in the summer. I'm back and forth there in Penticton. He's always there. They had great years and to come out and be the guy who gets the award is kind of surreal a little bit.

To think of the other defensemen who have won it, and nominated, and the other Blackhawk players who have won it, Chris Chelios, Pierre Pilote to name a couple, to be in that group is kind of unbelievable.

What is the one thing you'll remember about the Stanley Cup?

KEITH: You know, there's one thing that kind of sticks out is Tazer was looking for Hossa, and he was right in front of his face. And for some reason, you know how little things stick out in your head, but he was right in front of him. He kept saying where's Hossa, where's Hossa?

And he was right there.

It was nice to see Hossa get it. And you know, you go to the Finals two years in a row and lose, I can't imagine that feeling. You know, you go there once and lose, and I can't imagine that either. So you feel for the Flyers and their players and how hard they battled.

You know, I'm kind of friends with (Mike) Richards and I met some of them last night. They're a great group of guys. I'm sure they're going to end up hoisting it one day, too.

It was amazing you were even around the last time they won that thing. That's how long it's been?

KEITH: Exactly. It's nice to share it. It was nice to get back to Chicago and share it with all the people and all the fans of Chicago. You know, just see the look on everyone's face.

It was so long ago that really bringing the Stanley Cup back to Chicago was pretty special.

You're signing a long-term deal, but is this a measure of relief this amazing season you've had? You've got a big deal on your hands and you certainly did?

KEITH: I think it's nice. But at the same time it's nice to have a contract, and it's nice to win this award and win championships.

But I think as soon as the summer goes by and training camp starts going again, all the hunger to come back and win again is right there.

It's nice to enjoy it now, but once you strap on the skates again and everything's all about winning. And one year, one good year is not going to make me satisfied.

This league still has Pronger and Lidstrom and some notable veterans. Now there is a changing of the guard. Does the presence of those veterans add a little gravity to this for you? To think there are still some great vets out there?

KEITH: Exactly. You know, to me I grew up watching some of these guys. I know they're not that much older than me. But when you're a 12-year-old and these guys are in their 20's, it's a big difference.

Ask Lidstrom and Pronger and Niedermayer retiring, and Rob Blake, those guys we all looked up to as players and try to emulate. To me Lidstrom, you know, he's everything. To me, he's still the best. We watched him play and I've learned so much from him, and I can't say enough.

It's kind of funny, but those guys to me are still the best and still look up to those guys in a lot of ways.

Can you talk about trying to defend this trophy moving forward against Doughty, Weber, and Tyler Myers who won the Calder tonight?

KEITH: I think when you win this award, I thanked my teammates. A lot has to go right. It's really a lot of times you're on a good team, and I was fortunate enough to be on a good team this year.

Sometimes you move the puck up to the forwards and we got so many skilled forwards they make nice plays. You get an assist, and you get another point. But I'm not trying to take away anything. But like you said, there are so many great players, and I think Weber's a great player too.

Their team wasn't as high scoring, and his points were down and things like that kind of factor into it. Definitely it's a great group of young players, young defensemen coming up that makes it a challenge every year to win this award. And that's what makes this winning this award this year so much special.