Losing defenseman Duncan Keith for an extended period of time does not mean the Chicago Blackhawks season is ruined, but dealing with the absence of the two-time Norris Trophy winner and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner will test them in a way that is new.
Keith will miss at least four weeks while recovering from surgery he had to repair a right knee meniscal tear, the Blackhawks announced Tuesday. If Keith misses six weeks, he'll miss 18 games. He's in his 11th NHL season and has missed 20 games total.
For as good as captain Jonathan Toews is and as important as he is to the Blackhawks, it can be argued that nobody on the roster is as important as Keith because of the lack of depth Chicago has on the blue line and for the role he plays as a top defenseman who does everything at an elite level.