Keith speaks

Retired NHL’er Duncan Keith speaks at a press conference Tuesday to announced the 2023 class of inductees into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Duncan Keith and pal Brent Seabrook will be inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame this summer, organizers announced Thursday.

Keith, who played 1,256 NHL regular season games over 16 seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers, retired last year and now lives in the Penticton area, where he played minor and junior hockey.

Seabrook, who grew up in Delta and played 15 NHL seasons in Chicago, retired after the 2018-19 campaign.

The two spent years as the Blackhawks’ top defensive pairing, played more than 1,000 games together and helped win Canada a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“It’s certainly special to be inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame and it’s even more special knowing my good friend and teammate Brent Seabrook is going in with me,” said Keith during a brief ceremony Tuesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

“It feels like yesterday we were driving to the arena in Chicago, listening to our music…. Time flies by pretty quick and obviously I’ve been fortunate to play on a lot of great teams with great teammates over the years in Chicago and Edmonton.”

Keith, who won three Stanley Cups, two Norris Trophies as the NHL’s top defenceman and one Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, thanked his family and past inductees for helping him reach the highest levels of hockey.

Three others are also going into the hall.

Retired NHL linesman Lonnie Cameron, a Victoria native who worked 1,554 regular season games and two Olympics, will be inducted in the officials’ category.

Ronnie Paterson, owner of the White Rock Whalers in the Pacific Junior Hockey League, will be inducted in the builders’ category.

And the 2007 Memorial Cup champion Vancouver Giants, which produced NHL’ers like Milan Lucic and Evander Kane, will be inducted in the team category.

The hall is physically located at the SOEC, where glass showcases display inductees’ photos and memorabilia. The hall recently expanded into a breezeway that connects the SOEC to the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre using showcases that were moved over from Memorial Arena.

“The goal of the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame is to honour the game of hockey and its history, from the grassroots level up, in B.C.,” said Jim Dunlop, who chairs the hall’s board of directors.

The induction ceremony is scheduled for Friday, July 21, 7-10 p.m. at the SOEC. Tickets cost $75 and are available through the SOEC box office.