Duncan Keith is making the best of a long summer

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If there is one Blackhawk who really could have used the long summer they’re all in, it’s easily Duncan Keith.

The former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman was one of the few players to admirably admit that he wasn’t all there last season. For Keith, it was tough to duplicate all the individual success he had in an unbelievable Stanley Cup-winning year.

Keith, who has led the Hawks in ice time every season since the lockout, deserves credit — and praise — for his honesty. Overall, it’s the mental break from hockey that has felt the best to Keith this offseason.

“That might even be the biggest thing, the rest you get mentally,” said Keith, who got married this summer.

So what has he been doing in order to get that break?

“I’ve been sleeping a lot,” Keith said. “I haven’t slept like this in a couple of years.”

Keith was a minus-1 last season after being a plus-84 the previous three years. He said he’s looking forward to putting last year behind him and getting prepared for the upcoming season. Keith will be counted on again to pace the defensive corps, which no longer includes fellow puck-mover Brian Campbell.

“As tough as it is to lose in the first round, looking at the positive side, you get a lot more rest,” Keith said. “After an 82-game schedule, you need to be energized and you need to feel ready to go. Just by seeing some of the guys, they’re all looking good and we’re all anxious to get going. It’s getting a little bit too long.”

In other words, it’s almost time to get back on the ice.

“I haven’t really skated,” Keith said. “I’ve skated a couple times. But for the most part, it’s nice to get away and do the training off the ice. We’ll start getting back on the ice more toward the end of the month and ramp it up as we get to August.”

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