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Elliotte Friedman Just Scared The Shit Out Of Me With His Latest Blackhawks Nugget

"Nothing is happening with the Blackhawks as long as they’re still in the race, but if they fall out, would Joel Quenneville ask to pitch ageless physical specimen Duncan Keith on the virtues of southeast Florida?"--Elliotte Friedman, 31 Thoughts

And THIS is the nightmare scenario for the next three weeks before the deadline. Right now things look decently bright for the Hawks. A nice run heading into the all-star break and Kane getting into it with fans in St Louis has me dreaming of a first round series against the Blues. If things go off the rails when the Hawks come back anything is possible...including, apparently, a trade that would send Duncan Keith to be reunited with Joel Quenneville in Florida. Duncan Keith was reportedly asked by Stan Bowman about his no-trade clause last year when rumors were swirling the Hawks were sinking. The Hawks and Keith both denied it. This situation, because it's Joel, feels different. 

The Panthers are close to being a top team in the East, seemdingly over night. Joel Quenneville and Dale Tallon have turned them into the highest scoring team in the NHL through the first half of the season. The only thing the Panthers are missing, on paper, is a legit top 4 defenseman with Stanley Cup experience. They get that and the Panthers would be able to set their defense properly. Everyone slotted in positions to best use their skill sets. Duncan Keith would be able to step right in, play 25 minutes per night in a system he knows. Play high pressure zone, take away space through the neutral zone, move with puck up quick. The Panthers get that and Sergei Bobrovsky finds his game then the Panthers might just have enough to win the Eastern Conference and that is NOT an exagerration. If I know that, then Joel and Dale know that, and Dunc knows it, and even Stan might know that. That is a DANGEROUS scenario for both the team and fans who love Duncan Keith. 

I may be a sentimental little bitch, but I am NOT okay with a Duncan Keith trade. Can't have it. He's still a legit top 4 defenseman and probably the only one currently on the team. If the Blackhawks do trade him they'll be looking for a guy exactly like Keith this coming summer. So when I say the next three weeks are critical, I mean they are Duncan-Keith-Could-Be-Traded-To-Joel-Quenneville fucking critical. A scenario that would make me want to puke and cry and cheer all at the same time because I will jump on that Panthers bandwagon harder than anyone ever has. Throwing rats on the ice, wearing a lot of pink and teal, whatever it takes to fit in down in Sunrise, Florida. Can't have that for even one second.