The Edmonton Oilers have acquired three-time Stanley Cup champion Duncan Keith from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Keith, a left-shot defenceman, will turn 38 on July 16. He has two years left on his contract with an annual average value of just over $5.5 million.
Sports broadcaster John Shannon broke the deal down on 630 CHED’s Oilers Now on Monday afternoon.
The Oilers send away defenceman Caleb Jones and a conditional draft pick. In addition to Keith, the Oilers also receive 23-year-old forward Tim Soderlund as part of the trade.
The draft pick will be a second-round pick in the 2022 draft if the Oilers win three rounds in the NHL playoffs that year, and if Keith is among the top four Oilers defencemen in total time on ice through the first three rounds.
If those benchmarks are not met, the Oilers will give Chicago their third-round pick in the 2022 draft.
Oilers general manager Ken Holland told reporters that like the Tampa Bay Lightning showed with their latest Stanley Cup victory, “teams that go on playoff runs and that are good… You look at the veteran players and the impact they have on those teams — I think it’s because of their experience.”
“And certainly that’s the hope, that’s the belief (in terms of) what Duncan’s going to do for the Edmonton Oilers,” he said.
Keith had requested a trade to Western Canada or the Pacific northwest to be closer to his son.
“At this point in my career, being closer to my son Colton… That was a huge thing for me,” he told reporters on Monday.
When a reporter asked Holland if he could have better leveraged the fact that only a few teams would seem to be able to offer the geographic location that Keith was seeking, the Oilers’ GM replied without any hesitation.
“What? Did you want me to get him for free?” he asked.
With 625 points in 1,192 regular season games and 86 points in 135 playoff games, Keith is considered one of the greatest players in Blackhawks history. While he’s past his prime, it’s projected he would play on the Oilers second pairing behind Darnell Nurse.
“Great memories, great run,” Keith said of his 16 seasons with Chicago, adding that he is grateful to the organization for the opportunities he was given.
“The Chicago Blackhawks are always going to be in my heart,” he said. “(But this) is a great fit and I’m excited to start this new chapter in my career, and to try to win a (Stanley) Cup in Edmonton.”
Keith said while he plans to help the team’s younger defencemen any way he can, he also believes the most important contribution he can make is by being the best player he can be on the ice.
Keith won gold playing for Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. He was drafted by Chicago 54th overall in 2002.
–With files from Global News’ Phil Heidenreich