Well this is juicy.
The Chicago Blackhawks are reportedly looking to trade Duncan Keith, and are working on a potential deal involving either “the Pacific Northwest or Western Canada” according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
There are rumblings Chicago is working on a potential Duncan Keith trade to either the Pacific Northwest or Western Canada. Word is Keith and team are working together to get him to a place he wants to go. We will see where this goes.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2021
Keith, 37, has spent every single one of his 16 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, and the team is looking to find him a place where he wants to go, Friedman says.
“The Pacific Northwest or Western Canada” would appear to represent five potential landing spots: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, or Seattle. Keith is from Winnipeg, but moved to Penticton, BC as a teenager.
Keith has two years left on a contract that carries a $5.538 million cap hit. Offensively, he’s starting to slow down, as he produced just 15 points (4-11-15) in 54 games last season, though he still averaged 23:25 of ice time for the Blackhawks.
The future Hall-of-Fame defenceman would help any of the five potential teams, and would likely be named captain if acquired by the expansion Seattle Kraken.
The Vancouver Canucks would have trouble fitting Keith in under their salary cap, not to mention the fact that it would be an awkward fit with the fanbase, as many Canucks fans haven’t forgiven him for concussing Daniel Sedin in 2012.
According to CHEK’s Rick Dhaliwal, the Canucks aren’t a likely destination.
As of right now, the word is I don’t think Vancouver is the destination for a Duncan Keith trade.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) June 30, 2021
Seattle virtually has unlimited cap space, of course, and will be acquiring a ton of assets at the expansion draft on July 21.
The Calgary Flames missed the playoffs last season, so certainly they could use improvements in many areas, though defence isn’t an obvious sore spot.
Perhaps the most sensible landing spot for Keith is with the Edmonton Oilers or Winnipeg Jets, two teams that are loaded up front but a bit weak on defence. A move to Winnipeg would represent a homecoming for Keith, while joining the Oilers offers a chance to play with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.