Ever wonder how many Stanley Cups the Blackhawks could have won without Duncan Keith? According to a former Chicago GM, Hawks fans almost had to see the answer to that very question play out.
Former Blackhawks general manager Mike Smith told the Athletic's Mark Lazerus that the franchise came "this close" to trading then prospect now two-time Norris Trophy winner and three-time Stanley Cup champ Keith to the Philadelphia Flyers to bring back Jeremy Roenick and Tony Amonte.
Smith said his successor, Bob Pulford, intended to package Keith — who was drafted by the Hawks at No. 54 overall in 2002 — with three other players to return the two Blackhawks legends, who were 34 at the time, to Chicago. The 2004-05 NHL lockout prevented the deal from happening with the trade market being frozen for the year.
Keith had a standout season in the American Hockey League with the Norfolk Admirals during the lockout and made the Hawks roster out of camp the next season. Things probably worked out for the best...