The Chicago Blackhawks have traded long-time franchise defensive icon Duncan Keith to the Edmonton Oilers in a long-rumoured move. This ends a run of 16 seasons for Keith in Chicago with multiple awards and championships. In return, Chicago will receive defenceman Caleb Jones and a third-round pick. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli was the first to report the deal.
🔁 TRADE 🔁
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) July 12, 2021
Blackhawks Trade Duncan Keith
Keith’s time as an effective NHL skater is done and has been for several seasons. His scoring dropped for a second consecutive season to just four goals and 15 points in 54 games. More alarming is the drop in peripheral stats. A 45.1 percent Corsi For and -3.3 relative Corsi are at or near the lowest of Keith’s career in many years since he was just entering the league. It is a sad decline, but not unexpected for a blueliner in his late 30s.
Chicago originally drafted Keith in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. The Winnipeg native was one of the league’s steady defenders for much of his career, posted at least 40 points nine of 16 seasons. That includes the 2012-13 season that was shortened due to a lockout. Overall, Keith ends his tenure in the Windy City with 105 goals, 625 points, 1192 games, two Norris Trophies, and three Stanley Cups. It’s a career that is borderline worthy of Hall of Fame consideration when he becomes eligible.
What This Means
It is honestly hard to fathom why Keith’s new team is taking him on at all. He is a veteran presence in the locker room, but that is about it at this stage. It is also difficult to see what Chicago gains by trading something in addition to Keith just to dump his contract. Do not let this trade distract from far more important issues off the ice.
Embed from Getty Images