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Keith, Sharp Earn A's

by Adam Kempenaar / Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith and forward Patrick Sharp will serve as assistant captains this season to Jonathan Toews, head coach Denis Savard told Wednesday.

"Duncs and Sharpy are going to wear [the 'A'] all year long," Savard said. "But we have a group of six core leaders for us -- Sharp, Duncs and Tayzer, obviously, plus Brian Campbell, Brent Seabrook and Brent Sopel."

Sharp, 26, led the Blackhawks last season with a career-high 36 goals and paced the NHL this preseason with six tallies.

"It feels great," Sharp said. "It's a great honor to wear a letter in the National Hockey League, especially an organization like the Hawks. I know Duncs is thrilled about it as well, but there are more than just three leaders in this room. We've got a number of guys who are going to provide leadership both on and off the ice."

Keith, 25, played in all 82 games for the second consecutive season and ranked second among NHL defensemen with a +30 plus/minus rating in 2007-08. The team leader in ice time per game for the third straight year, Keith made his first All-Star appearance last season.

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