It’s often said that Duncan Keith must be something beyond human given the wear and tear he’s taken on the ice over the years. Well, apparently he’s looking to double down on that by trying to follow Jaromir Jagr’s path of playing into his mid-40s.
Duncan Keith: "I want to play till I’m 45. Eleven more years. I feel like I’m 22 right now. I do. Honestly. I’m 34, I feel great. I feel better than I did at times when I was 27, 28."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 21, 2017
A lot can change in a decade, but Keith seems intent on playing as long as he can. The 34-year-old defenseman is under contract with the Blackhawks through the 2022-23 season, so he’ll be 40 years old when he’s set for a new deal.
The Blackhawks haven’t shied away from leaning heavily on Keith despite his increasing age. He’s playing a team-high 25:09 per game this season, which isn’t far off from the 25:29 average he posted over the previous three seasons.
But another 10 years is a long time for someone who has already played 933 regular season games, 126 playoff games, and a whole bunch of international games since starting his career in 2005. There’s a reason why so few players are able to keep up with a league of 20-somethings when they’re closer to 40.
Could Keith pull it off? Sure, it seems conceivable, particularly if he’s willing to take smaller roles for a lot less money eventually. But more likely than not, he’ll change his mind on this some time in the next 10 years. Unless ... he’s ... actually ... a cyborg. Hmmm. More on that later.