John Locher/Associated Press
Duncan Keith is no stranger to the NHL's most important awards. He picked up the Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman last month in Las Vegas.
If you're not keeping score at home, that's the second time Keith has won that award. The competition has been quite formidable, as he has beaten out the likes of Boston's Zdeno Chara, the Kings' Drew Doughty, Minnesota's Ryan Suter, Nashville's Shea Weber, Ottawa's Erik Karlsson and Montreal's P.K. Subban.
Keith, 31, has all the skills that many of the top defensemen in the history of the game have demonstrated. He is a brilliant skater, as he has speed, quickness and agility. He's got a bomb of a shot, and he can control play from the point.
He is a willing hitter and shot-blocker. He has shown his courage by getting in front of some brutal blasts that have cost him his teeth.
What appears to separate Keith from his peers is his complete game. All of the other defensemen have one weakness or another. Keith does not have any blemishes.
Since that's the case, the question is whether Keith can string together Norris Trophies the way former Detroit Red Wings superstar Nicklas Lidstrom did. Lidstrom won seven Norris Trophies overall, and all of them came after he reached age 30.
As good as Keith is, he may not have the all-around talent that Lidstrom demonstrated throughout his career. However, he is the best defenseman in the league, and he should be in contention for the Norris at least two or three more times in his career.