Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith
has heard the stories and has even spoken to legendary Hall of Fame member Bobby Hull
about the unfortunate set of circumstances.
Bottom line is, the world-class blueliner knows opportunities like this don't happen very often.
Hull recently told Keith that after winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 1961, he expected many more to follow, but that wouldn't happen over his next 11 seasons in Chicago. It's a conversation Keith remembers well. In fact, the Blackhawks wouldn't hoist the Cup again until 2010.
"I've heard that story and talked to Bobby Hull quite a bit about how they thought they would win several but never ended up getting back again and winning another," Keith said. "I take a lot of pride in being here and I'm excited about the opportunity. I'm going to try to make the most of it."
The Blackhawks are back in the Final after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010. Chicago eliminated the Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings in the first two rounds of this postseason before eliminating the defending champion Los Angeles Kings in five games in the Western Conference Final.
Chicago will face the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final, with Game 1 to take place Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Keith and his teammates, who took part in Tuesday's media day, will look to capture a second championship in four seasons and fifth overall.
"For me, being our second time here, I've been through media stuff before and have that experience, but at the same time you have to go out and execute and perform and that doesn't change whether you've been in the Finals five times," Keith said. "You still have to go out the right way and play your best."
His defensive partner for much of the season, Brent Seabrook, agreed.
"When you get the opportunity to play in Finals in the first couple of years, you realize it's a battle and a grind … there are a lot of ups and downs," Seabrook said. "It really makes you appreciate what we're able to do and where we are today. We're excited and taking it all in."