After weeks of rumors, defenseman Duncan Keith is headed to Edmonton.
On Monday, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported that the Edmonton Oilers sent defenseman Caleb Jones and a conditional third-round pick for Ducan Keith and Tim Soderlund. Keith, who was named one the “100 Greatest NHL Players” in history, is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, a two-time Norris Trophy winner, and a four-time All-Star.
Full Oilers-Hawks deal:
Duncan Keith and Tim Soderlund for Caleb Jones And 2022 3rd RD pick
The 2022 pick will become a 2nd RD pick if Edm wins 3 rounds in 2022 playoffs AND Keith is amongst the top 4 in Oilers D time on ice during the first three rounds of the 2022 Playoffs.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 12, 2021
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the deal is that the Blackhawks will retain none of Keith’s remaining salary.
Keith to CHI for Caleb Jones and a third. No salary retained.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 12, 2021
The soon-to-be 38-year-old rearguard has two years remaining on a 13-year, $72 million contract he originally signed in 2009. Keith’s cap hit is $5.538 million, but he is only owed $3.6 million over the next two seasons due to how his deal was structured.
The trade will allow Keith to be closer to his son.
It's pretty remarkable how the idea of trading Duncan Keith went from unthinkable to inevitable to acceptable in such a short amount of time.
It's a testament to the goodwill Keith has built up in Chicago that nobody seems to begrudge him wanting to move closer to his son.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 12, 2021
It’ll also allow the Blackhawks to upgrade their backline and perhaps go after Seth Jones.
With no salary retained in Duncan Keith trade, #Blackhawks opened up $5.538 million in cap space and you can bet Seth Jones will be a top priority if both sides are open to long-term extension.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) July 12, 2021
The Oilers, who were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets, are not getting the Keith of yore. Analytics suggest Keith is now a net negative on the ice, making offense four percent worse and defense 12 percent worse.
Caleb Jones (traded to Chicago with some picks) is an average nhl defender. Duncan Keith (in return to Edmonton) is a liability to his team on offence at 5v5, a liability on the powerplay, a liability on the penalty-kill, a severe defensive liability at 5v5, and a poor shot. pic.twitter.com/ruLIbB7pwP
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) July 12, 2021
Trying to imagine a non-Chicago team winning a trade involving Duncan Keith without a great deal of success. pic.twitter.com/PHTcYBO1cf
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) June 30, 2021
Perhaps Oilers GM Ken Holland believes that bringing in a Stanley Cup champion who Plays The Right Way is worth the cost to try and get the team over the hump.
Duncan Keith has signed all paperwork waiving his no-move to go to Edmonton. This clause will travel with him, so he maintains trade protection. The Oilers were Keith’s first choice.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 12, 2021
Headline photo: @dk_2_
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