Duncan Keith took himself out of the World Cup of Hockey because he wanted to concentrate on recuperating his surgically repaired knee. And Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman was fine with the defenseman’s decision.
“It was something he felt he wouldn’t be able to perform to the level that he needs to in a tournament like this,” Bowman told reporters at the World Cup’s media day on Thursday. “Our job in that is to support whatever – he’s the one that’s got to get on the ice, so if he didn’t feel he was able to do that, then you have to respect that.”
Bowman, speaking at the World Cup of Hockey’s media day on Thursday, talked about Keith, who was selected for Team Canada last spring. But on Aug. 24 Keith opted out of World Cup, choosing to continue rehabbing his right knee. Keith had had surgery on the knee last October. The Blackhawks released a statement that day, saying, “we believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury.”
Keith is on the Blackhawks’ training camp roster, but whether or not he’s ready to participate immediately at camp is unknown. Bowman, who is assistant GM for Team North America during the World Cup, said he hasn’t talked to Keith about it yet.
“But he’s doing better. I think time will tell,” Bowman said. “I haven’t spoken to him. We’ve been here with this team for the last couple weeks. I haven’t heard any bad news in terms of that. I think it’s going to be one of those things we’ll get a better feel for that when we’re back at the end of this tournament. We’ll get some updates on his performance. But no, we didn’t pressure him not to play. It was more the way he felt, and I guess he just decided it wasn’t going to work for him.”