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Blackhawks trading Duncan Keith to Oilers

Duncan Keith, Blackhawks, Oilers

The Chicago Blackhawks are continuing their rebuild by trading away defenseman Duncan Keith, who was an instrumental part of three Stanley Cups. Keith is going to the Edmonton Oilers for young defenseman Caleb Jones and a third-round pick.

The Blackhawks reportedly aren’t retaining any of Keith’s salary ($5.5 million cap hit) as part of this trade.

Keith had spent his entire NHL career in Chicago up to this point. He was selected in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and made his debut with the big club in the 2005-06 season. The defenseman quickly blossomed into one of the league’s top players at the position.

Keith and Brent Seabrook formed one of the NHL’s best defensive duos as the Blackhawks turned into a powerhouse. Keith helped lead Chicago to Stanley Cup wins in 2010, 2013 and 2015, capping off that final run with a Conn Smythe Trophy.

Keith has also won the James Norris Memorial Trophy twice, in 2010 and 2014. In addition to his NHL exploits, he won Olympic gold medals with Canada in 2010 and 2014.

As the Blackhawks have fallen off in recent years, so has Keith. All the minutes and long playoff runs have caught up to him at the age of 37 (he’ll be 38 in a few days), so he’s not nearly the force he once was. With Chicago continuing to turn over the roster, getting a mid-round pick and a young player for Keith without retaining any salary is a nice move.

As for the Oilers, they just had an excellent regular season by finishing second in the North Division with 72 points, behind only the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, Edmonton promptly got swept away in the playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets, who finished below them in the standings with 63 points. Keith will bring a veteran presence to the club and be closer to his family.

Jones was drafted by the Oilers in 2015 and played three seasons with the franchise. He appeared in 33 games in the regular season but didn’t play in the playoffs.