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Edmonton Oilers’ Duncan Keith announces retirement after 17 seasons in NHL

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EDITOR’S NOTE: A line that previously appeared in this article incorrectly said Keith never missed a game in his first 16 seasons. It has since been removed. We regret the error.

A longtime veteran of the NHL, Edmonton Oilers defenceman Duncan Keith announced his retirement from hockey Tuesday morning.

After 16 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Keith most recently played his 17th season with the Oilers after being traded to the Alberta capital in July 2021.

His resume is nothing short of impressive, having won three Stanley Cup championships, two Norris trophies and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2015.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers defenceman Duncan Keith returns to Chicago

The 38-year-old appeared in 64 games with Edmonton and averaged about 19:44 time on ice per game during the regular season, according to the Oilers.

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During a news conference on Tuesday to announce his retirement, Keith fought back tears at times as he thanked teammates, coaches and family members for helping him along the way.

“I still love the game, always will,” Keith said with his son Colton by his side.

“But with getting older… and the thought of being around my son more, and being around him and his hockey — being able to help my brother coach our boys and my niece — the more it got closer to that, the more excited about it I became.”

He added that he believes he could still play the game at a high level.

“I think that’s how I wanted to go out, knowing that I still had some game left in me and I’m relatively healthy.”

READ MORE: Oilers’ Duncan Keith turns back the clock to help Edmonton even Battle of Alberta

Keith added that although the Oilers failed to reach the Stanley Cup final this season, “we had a hell of a run,” and called Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl “the two best players in the world.”

“Being around them, just to see how good they really are on a day-to-day basis, it was amazing. And I believe that they’re going to lead this team to a championship.”

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He also thanked Oilers fans for creating a lively atmosphere at Rogers Place.

“It’s incredibly special playing playoff hockey in Edmonton,” Keith said. “Getting the chance to walk out from the dressing room, you feel like a gladiator walking onto the ice.

The Oilers said Keith ranked second in takeaways and third in hits while mentoring the team’s younger defencemen. On Nov. 1, 2021 he reached a new achievement with the Oilers, notching his 1,200th game against the Seattle Kraken.

After being drafted 54th overall by Chicago, Keith finished his career playing 1,256 regular season games and accumulating 106 goals, 540 assists and 675 penalty minutes alongside a plus/minus rating of +159.

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The Winnipeg native also represented Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics where he was part of the gold medal-winning team.

–With files from The Canadian Press

Click to play video: 'Duncan Keith joins Edmonton Oilers at training camp' Duncan Keith joins Edmonton Oilers at training camp
Duncan Keith joins Edmonton Oilers at training camp – Oct 1, 2021

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