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Is Duncan Keith the next Nicklas Lidstrom?

Image (1) Keith-thumb-250x209-6814.jpg for post 171

I know it’s the question on everyone’s mind: Who will be the next Nicklas Lidstrom once Nicklas Lidstrom retires. It’s a pressing issue, really.

And some big shoes to fill for whoever it is does take that spot. Lidstrom is arguably the best NHL player of the past 15 years and his leadership and scoring ability are still best in the league, although he may be reaching the end of his career. One player that is comparable to a young Nick Lidstrom is Chicago’s Duncan Keith, and Lidstrom had some high praise for the young defenseman.

“He’s a lot better skater than I am, a lot faster, a lot quicker on his skates,” said Lidstrom, who had a goal and assist Sunday. “We’ve faced him a lot the last few years and he’s really been improving both offensively and defensively. He’s a matchup ‘D,’ plays against the top line all the time, but he still produces points.”

The numbers are certainly comparable. The past three seasons Keith has improved on his point total and has destroyed his career high already this season with 13 goals and 46 assists. Lidstrom throughout his career has consistently scored between 55 and 70 points and has never had a negative plus/minus rating in his career.

The Keith is able to put up that amount of points while maintaining his stance as a shut-down defenseman is certainly impressive, and it’s something that Lidstrom has personified his entire career.

Keith has a very long way to go before he reaches anything resembling the status that Lidstrom has achieved. Heck, Lidstrom wasn’t “Lidstrom the greatest defenseman of the modern age” until at least six or seven seasons into his career. There’s still time, yet.