One of the final members of the Chicago Blackhawks’ dynasty era has moved on, as defenseman Duncan Keith has been traded to the Edmonton Oilers.
As first reported by multiple sources, including the Chicago Sun-Times’ Ben Pope and HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman, the 37-year-old Blackhawks defenseman has been shipped to Edmonton, ending the veteran’s 16-year tenure in the Windy City.
In exchange, the Hawks have received defenseman Caleb Jones and a third-round draft pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Jones, a 24-year-old native of Arlington, Texas, was a fourth-round selection of the Oilers in 2015, putting up 19 points in 93 career NHL games. Jones is the younger brother of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones, who has also been attached to Hawks rumors in recent weeks.
Keith’s departure from the Blackhawks shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. There have been rumblings of the d-man’s potential move for a while now, and it was reported at one point that Keith himself had requested a trade. Still, it is sad to see the veteran defenseman go. As one of the last guys from the team’s Stanley Cup roster, this leaves only Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as the last members of the ‘old guard’.
While Caleb Jones is no superstar defenseman, I think that this trade works out significantly in the Hawks’ favor. For one, at 37-year-old, it’s unlikely that Duncan Keith would be playing many more years anyway before retiring. Plus, it was also reported that the Blackhawks aren’t going to be retaining any of Keith’s nearly $6 million contract, which is also a significant plus.
Overall, I think that this is a move that will help the Blackhawks build towards the future. While a third-rounder in next year’s NHL Entry Draft won’t necessarily land the team another superstar, it should help them acquire a prospect that can at least be a part of the franchise moving forward.
The most important thing to do now, though, is to thank Duncan Keith for his years of dedication to the Chicago Blackhawks. Keith was with the team through all of its highs and lows and was an integral part of three Stanley Cup championships. It’s going to be hard to watch Blackhawks hockey next year without Duncs on the ice, but it seems that he is happy going to Edmonton, which is much closer to home for him.
Thank you for many years of memories with the Chicago Blackhawks, Duncan, and good luck with the Oilers!