Keith will have his minutes managed carefully once he returns from his knee injury, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Keith was the 12th-most utilized defenseman last season, averaging 30.1 shifts and 25:16 of ice time per contest, but the Blackhawks have wisely decided to hold him out of the first four preseason games and put his playing time under a microscope in effort to avoid wear and tear on his knee before the regular season even begins. Keith was quite efficient last season, finding twine nine times to go along with 34 helpers in just 67 games.
Despite the knee injury, Keith should return to his 2015-16 form that saw him rack up nine goals and 34 assists, including 18 points with the man advantage. Even if it takes the blueliner a few games to shake off the rust, fantasy owners would be hard pressed to find a more consistent scorer among defensemen.
Keith pulled out of playing for Team Canada in the World Cup of Hockey to nurse his surgically repaired knee. It's still unknown how much Keith will participate in the preseason, but the veteran defenseman has been skating for about a month. The
Keith recently decided not to participate in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey to focus on strengthening his surgically-repaired right knee. When that decision was announced it seemed to be a precautionary move for Keith, but this latest news contradicts that notion. The 33-year-old defender's status for Chicago's Oct. 12 regular-season opener against the Blues should become clearer when the 'Hawks kick off their preseason schedule Sep. 28 against Pittsburgh.
Keith won't play for Team Canada at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
This is purely a precautionary move for Keith. The 33-year-old defender isn't dealing with a new injury, but has decided to forego the opportunity to represent his country in September's World Cup of Hockey to focus on strengthening his right knee, which was operated on last October to repair a meniscal tear. The two-time Norris Trophy winner will be at full strength for the Blackhawks' regular-season opener, so this latest news shouldn't have any affect on his draft stock.