Blackhawks place Keith on long-term injured reserve

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was placed on long-term injured reserve on Wednesday.
Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks placed stud defenseman Duncan Keith on long-term injured reserve, the team announced on Wednesday.

The move comes one day after the Blackhawks declared that Keith was expected to miss four-to-six weeks following surgery to repair a meniscal tear in his right knee. Chicago will receive approximately $5 million of cap relief with Wednesday’s move involving the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner, according to GeneralFanager.com.

Coach Joel Quenneville told reporters that he doesn’t expect the team to recall another defenseman prior to the Blackhawks’ home game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Keith’s absence leaves the team’s blue line a bit barren, as fellow workhorses Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson will need to lean a bit more on Trevor Daley, David Rundblad and Trevor van Riemsdyk. Veteran Michal Rozsival is still recovering from an ankle injury.

Keith has never missed more than eight games in any of his previous 10 NHL seasons. The two-time Norris Trophy winner has notched two assists in six contests in 2015-16 and is averaging a team-high 24:21 of ice time.

Keith scored the eventual winning goal to lead the Blackhawks to a 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final in June. The 32-year-old had three tallies and 18 assists to tie Chris Chelios for the most points (21) by a Blackhawks’ defenseman in a single postseason.