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Duncan Keith could soon be heading to the Edmonton Oilers, as the Chicago Blackhawks discuss possible trades for their longtime No. 1 defenseman.
According to Scott Powers of The Athletic and Daniel Nugent Bowman from The Athletic, there is mutual interest between the Hawks and Oilers. Keith would like to be closer to his son, who lives in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley.
The Oilers won't make the trade at any cost. According to a source, they would like Chicago to keep their salary or to get rid of a bad contract.
James Neal is the obvious choice. His cap hit of $5.75million for two additional seasons is almost equal to Keith's. Neal is also the team’s top buyout candidate. The buyout period ends on July 27, the day before free agency begins.
Nugent-Bowman also suggested Edmonton could trade right winger Zack Kassian, and goaltender Mikko Koskinen. Keith just finished a four-goal and 11-assist season in 54 games, where he averaged 23.25 minutes of ice time each game.
He is a Winnipeg native and has played more than 50 games per season. He was one of seven Hawks players who were on the winning teams of the Stanley Cup in 2009-10, 2012-13, and 2014-15 (Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane), as well as Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hajlmarsson, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp.
Keith, who will turn 38 this month, isn’t the Norris-caliber defensiveman he used to be in the past. He probably has played too much for Blackhawks in recent seasons. However, some teams can see Keith being effective in a smaller role and would love to have his experience. It is not clear if a team would take Keith's contract which has a $5538,462 cap for two years.
Powers was told by a source that "we weren't trying to move him but it was initiated Duncan." He would like to be closer with his son. Duncan wasn't able to see Duncan last season because he's getting older. That is something we understand."
Since 2016-17, the Blackhawks have only made it to the postseason once. They have not advanced beyond the first round since 2014.15. Edmonton is in the mix to win the Stanley Cup, thanks to Hart Trophy winners Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.