Editorials

Blackhawks: Three Reasons Now Was The Right Time To Trade Keith

By Joseph Felicelli
Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /
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Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks
Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

On Monday, the Blackhawks traded away Duncan Keith, without question their best defenseman for more than a decade, and in the discussion for their best defenseman ever. But was it the right decision?

I think the career of Duncan Keith in Chicago can be summed up very simply: Duncan Keith, Blackhawks Legend.  An anchor on the blue line for more than a decade. A driving force behind the Blackhawks amazing Stanley Cup Run. One of the prototypes of the NHL’s modern defenseman. His #2 sweater will hang in the rafters of the United Center soon, and his name will be remembered reverently for years to come.

1192 Games; 625 Points (105G, 520A), +144, averaging nearly 25 minutes of ice time over his career. These are remarkable numbers, and when you factor in that in 9 of his 16 seasons, he played 80 or more games, and it is a testament to his ability, conditioning, and heart that he could play that well for that long for one organization.

But now he’s an Edmonton Oiler, presumably for the remainder of his contract (2 years), and will likely finish his playing career elsewhere. It is strange to think about, seeing him in another uniform. It hurts to think Keith will come to the United Center to play against the ‘Hawks in 2021-2022. But, looking at it from all perspectives, the ‘Hawks did the right thing in moving on, for several reasons.

The move has to be evaluated in terms of multiple factors:

What it Does For The Player

What it Does For The Organization (‘Hawks and Oilers)

Timing Of The Move As It Relates To Both Player And Organization

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