Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
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Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Timing Of the Move
Reports of Duncan Keith requesting a trade first surfaced about 2 weeks ago. Once that news became public, the general impression was that any potential trade was going to happen sooner rather than later. There are several reasons for this sense of urgency:
The Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft: As discussed here, the ‘Hawks were going to be required to protect Duncan Keith due to the no-movement clause in his contract. That meant that a player the ‘Hawks could potentially protect from being selected would be protected if Keith was moved to another roster. For the Oilers, based on their roster, they were not negatively impacted by having to protect Keith. Protection lists are due this weekend, so time was of the essence.
Free Agency/The Draft: Right on the heels of the Expansion Draft is the entry draft, and Free Agency right after that. There are a lot of pending UFA D-men, so the market for a 38-year-old Duncan Keith would likely shrink considerably once they got to the Free Agent period. The Blackhawks needed this to happen quickly to ensure they got a solid return for Keith in trade (Spoiler Alert: they did!).
The Blackhawks organization owes a lot to Duncan Keith for a number of reasons, outlined throughout this article. He came to them with a request to put him in a better situation for he and his family. They reacted with a sense of urgency, and the Oilers also acted with a sense of urgency to get the deal done. This doesn’t happen with a 3rd pairing D-man. But it does happen with a sure-fire Hall-Of-Fame player like Duncan Keith.