Here you go Blackhawks fans, an article of my own with pictures of today's event in Penticton, BC.
Duncan Keith Day
Duncan Keith wearing his Olympic Gold Medal, lifting
the Stanley Cup, his father Dave holding the Norris Trophy
On a beautiful, sunny Okanagan Saturday afternoon, over 5,000 fans packed the South Okanagan Event Center as the city of Penticton celebrated the Gold medalist, Norris Trophy and Stanley Cup winner, Duncan Keith.
Led by the Penticton Pipe Band and four RCMP officers in red serge uniforms, Keith walked the length of the arena with the Olympic Gold medal around his neck and the Stanley Cup in his hands, with his father Dave at his side proudly holding the Norris Trophy. He was followed by his mother Jean, his fiancée Kelly Rae Kenyon and the rest of his family, Penticton's Mayor Dan Ashton, BC Liberal MLA Bill Barisoff, the assistant to Stockwell Day, MP for the riding of Okanagan—Coquihalla in BC and president of the Treasury Board, and by former coach and long time friend Rob McLaughlin. Former players of the 1955 World Champions Penticton Vees Ivan McLelland, Kevin Conway and Jimmy Fairburn, as well as former teammate and good friend of Gordie Howe, Larry Lund, and a few other local personalities followed suite, under a standing ovation from the crowd.
RCMP guard the Stanley Cup and the Norris Trophy
When all personalities were sitting in their designated seats, local Master of Ceremony Wally Hild announced that Duncan was just coming back from the Penticton Regional Hospital and that he had just donated $10,000 to the hospital, drawing a huge cheer from the crowd.
Mayor Dan Ashton took the podium, proclaiming July 17, 2010, Duncan Keith Day, drawing yet another response from the fans.
After receiving congratulations from the BC, the Canadian, and the Penticton Indian Band political representatives, a very humble and proud Dave Keith served parents and Penticton Minor Hockey Association players with a remarkable inspirational speech. "When he was 5 years old, Duncan told me that he wanted to play in the NHL", said the emotional father. "I had built him a shooting platform with 3/4" plywood and his friend came to get him to go to the movie. Duncan told them that he couldn't, he had some pucks to shoot". Dave wanted Duncan to get a job, but Duncan replied that he couldn't, because he had to work out. "And he was sweating bullets", said the proud father.
Jean Keith, Duncan Keith, Kelly Rae Kenyon and Dave Keith
At different times throughout the ceremony, three different video presentations were shown on the score clock: A Duncan Keith highlight reel of last season, a powerpoint presentation of his progression from minor hockey to his Stanley Cup win, and an Olympic Tournament highlight with commentaries from different commentators like Pierre McGuire and Bob McKenzie amongst others.
Keith presented the City of Penticton with an autographed Team Canada #2 jersey. Mayor Ashton came back to the podium to make a special presentation, presenting Keith with the Key of the City of Penticton. The crowd gave Keith yet another ovation.
Mayor Ashton presenting the Key of the City to Duncan Keith
Questions and Answers with Duncan Keith:
Q: Who were the players you were looking up to growing up? A: Even if I was a defenseman, I really liked Cam Neely and when I moved to BC, I admired the Russian Rocket Pavel Bure. Of course, being a defenseman I had several players who I looked up to: Brian Leetch, Raymond Bourque, Nicklas Lidstrom, Paul Coffee and Scott Niedermayer were on top of the list of players I tried to emulate and that's what you need.
Q: What do you remember of the overtime and the Stanley Cup winning goal? A: There was a lot of confusion there. The whole period, it seemed like it was tilted in favour of Philadelphia. I gave the puck away on the first shift and they almost ended it right there. We were holding on to our sticks a little bit tight. The next thing you know, Kaner (Patrick Kane) made a quick little play, he threw it at the net before the goalie could get set. Kaner seemed to be the only one who saw it go in, him and maybe his line mates Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd. I didn't want to celebrate too soon and have to put my helmet and equipment back on and having to play again. I went to ask (referee) Stephen Walkom and he looked at me with a blank face so I don't think he had a clue what happened. One of our video guys saw the replay radioed to the bench, they saw it was a goal so we all jumped on the ice.
Q: What was the flight back to Chicago like? A: The plane ride was fun. We had the Cup in the back with us. I don't think many people were sitting, everybody was up and having a drink, drinking from the Cup, having a good time. This is definitely something I'll remember.
Q: Just a few years ago, things weren't all that good in Chicago. What kept you inspired? A: What kept me inspired is to be in the NHL. We are very privileged to play in that league, we're living a dream. I was happy to be in the NHL even if my team was struggling. When our new owner came on board, he really changed the direction of our team and the last couple of years have been a total 180 (degree) from what it used to be. The end result is winning the Stanley Cup and it happened quicker than everyone thought.
Q: A lot of the commentators were talking about you as one of the leaders of that team. We saw you at some point with one hand on your stick, directing traffic with the other. What was your role on the team? A: To all the young defensemen out there, your job is to get the puck out of your zone to the forwards as soon as you can. Sometimes you get stuck behind your net and the forwards aren't always paying attention at the breakouts. Trying to help them out there with direction I guess.
Q: What advise do you have to give to the young hockey players here today? A: Have fun, we all play hockey because we love the game. When you get older, keep with it and believe in yourself no matter what happens, no matter if you get cut, no matter what people say or write about you, believe in yourself, that's all that matters.
For those of you who haven't had a chance to meet Duncan Keith, know that he's a very down to earth, level headed and humble man. At one point when the crowd was giving him a standing ovation, he was visibly embarrassed and was gesturing to the fans to sit down.
The Chicago Blackhawks, the City of Penticton and the rest of Canada can be proud to be represented by such a fine young man!
Last edited by Habsterix*: 07-18-2010 at 10:49 AM.
My friend's dad taught Duncan Keith in Penticton and said he was a great, humble kid...unlike most of the junior hockey kids he taught. He taught Justin Pogge at the same time and didn't have quite as nice of things to say about him.