After a triumphant season helping bring the Chicago Blackhawks to Stanley Cup victory, defenseman Duncan Keith has taken some time for himself.
The Canadian player wound up relaxing after the championship win, having played more than 700 minutes during the postseason and taking home the Conn Smythe trophy.
“For a while I think all I had was Tim Hortons and ice cappuccinos and chocolate glazed donuts,” he said in a phone interview with the Chicago Tribune. “You need to be able to relax and have that break physically and mentally.”
Yet there are other reasons why Keith may have needed a break after the busy season: namely, due to his separation with wife Kelly-Raw one year prior.
The split was the subject of several rumors in the local press, and may have led to fighting between Keith and teammate Patrick Sharpe. Although gossip columns implied that Sharpe played a role in the separation, both players addressed the issue in the spring to say that the rumors of conflict were unfounded.
Keith and Kelly-Rae, who have begun working with divorce lawyers, also has a two-year-old son, Colton.
“Kelly and I are doing our best to co-parent Colton and raise him in a loving environment whether he’s with her or with me,” he explained.
Splitting custody is a relatively new phenomenon in many divorce proceedings, and it often requires some kind of third party decision. In 2011, 11% of custody decisions were made during mediation in a divorce; 5% of such cases were decided afterwards through court order custody evaluations for one or both parents.
In addition to taking time out for himself, Keith also needed to be there for Colton, which meant missing the Blackhawks convention in Chicago this past weekend.
Did he feel like he was missing out interacting with fans and teammates? Of course, Keith said.
“Obviously, I’d really like to be there at the convention because I always enjoy meeting new fans and seeing old ones, so that’s a little frustrating not being able to celebrate with all of them,” Keith said. “But in my own situation, I am going through a divorce. I’ve been separated for over a year now.”
Keith hopes that fans will be understanding of his absence, given his personal situation. “I hope everybody can respect that and our privacy,” he stated.