NHL Trade: Blackhawks Send Keith to Oilers for Jones and a Pick

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded defenseman Duncan Keith and Tim Soderlund to the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Caleb Jones and a conditional 2022 3rd round pick.

Pierre LeBrun: The condition on the pick is if the Oilers win three rounds in the playoffs next year and and Keith is among the top four Oilers defensemen in time on ice in the first three rounds.

No salary was retained in the deal.

The 37-year old Keith was drafted 56th overall in the 2nd round pick the 2002 draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He carries a $5.5 million cap hit for two more years.

The 23-year old Soderlund was drafted 112th overall in the 4th round of the 2017 draft by the Blackhawks.  He carries an $825,833 cap hit.

The 24-year old Jones was drafted 117th overall in the 4th round of the 2015 draft. He has a year left at $850,000.

Puck Pedia: The Oilers add $4,688,462 to their projected cap. Jones is arbitation eligible after next season.

Thoughts from the media

Mark Spector: “So, no salary retained by CHI. Of the $11.1 M cap hit remaining, there is only $3.6 M owed to the player. I know fans don’t care about that, but after a pair of money-losing seasons, that’s the kind of salary retention that means much to NHL owners.”

Jonathan Willis: “I like Duncan Keith. I think he’ll be a better player next year than he was last year. I think the intangible contributions people talk about are real. He’s also 38 and has two years left at a $5.5MM cap hit. Cap space is the most valuable asset here. Clear Chicago win, IMO.”

  • Jonathan Willis: “It’s also ridiculous that the Oilers couldn’t convince Chicago to take any kind of cap penalty back. Even Kyle Turris (who has a tiny cap hit for one year if he’s buried in the minors) would have done a tiny bit to mitigate the damage this does to the salary cap situation.”

Jason Gregor: Will Chicago protect Jones?

Keith for a third is risk for Edmonton due to Keith’s age, but today he is upgrade over Jones, Lagesson or Russell.

Edmonton betting that Keith paired with veteran RD, ideally Larsson, will lead to better results than last few years with rookie D.

Jonathan Willis: “Keith will presumably take Edmonton’s third expansion slot on defence, joining Nurse and Bear. A trade now suggests Larsson won’t be signed prior to the Seattle draft.”

Matt Larkin: “So I have to assume the Keith deal guarantees we won’t see Adam Larsson re-signed before July 17…right? If Oilers are using a 7-3-1 protection scheme, it’ll be Nurse, Bear and Keith protected on ‘D.’”

David Pagnotta: “Protecting 4 D, for example, would risk exposing someone like Yamamoto or Puljuvarvi, which I can’t imagine the Oilers want to do.”

Anthony Petrielli: “I think Duncan Keith is better than some are giving him credit for but acquiring him at his full salary for 2 more years should not cost you decent assets. Chicago should have been forced to add a sweetener. There wasn’t even a bidding war – His request was very specific!”

Mark Lazerus: Keith can still skate. And I do believe he can still play at a solid level if he’s not being asked to log 24 minutes a night. And he brings experience and intangibles that the Oilers don’t have.

Still. No salary retained? When they had no other trading partners? Yikes, Oilers.

Adam Gretz: “Not convinced that Duncan Keith is a total liability. But if he were a free agent right now in his current state as a player you would not be paying him this much money for two years. So to pay all of that, and give up two assets for him as the centerpiece of your offseason… eh”

Kurt Leavins: “The #Oilers Defence just got significantly better. Acquired Duncan Keith from Chicago for Caleb Jones & mid-round pick. Like Matt Benning before him, Jones tried & failed to crack Top 4. Keith a lock to play 18-20’ in Top 4. Major influence on & off the ice.”

Ben Pope: “Full respect to Keith, but this is going to be absolute larceny by the Blackhawks.”

Ryan Rishaug: “How much game does Duncan Keith have left? The single most important element of this trade. I didn’t see much of him this year so I don’t have a strong opinion on that. The Oilers did watch him a lot, they obviously feel he’s got a ton of game left, and wanted his experience../”

Ryan Rishaug: “His numbers are not great, and point to a clear decline, but the situation in Chicago was not ideal. It’s fair to ask if a better financial deal could have been found if they’d waited and grinded longer on Bowman, but we don’t know all the details. High risk, high reward trade.”

Dustin Nielson: “Thoughts

  • STUNNED the Oilers couldn’t get the Hawks to retain
  • Timing of this makes no sense – Hawks had ZERO leverage
  • Keith could end up being better than how we are reacting to this deal, myself included, but to allocate 5.5 to this spot?
  • One buyout MUST happen now

Jonathan Willis: “The Duncan Keith trade is the tipping point: we’re no longer really allowed to talk about Ken Holland’s hands being tied financially by Peter Chiarelli.

Keith + Kassian combine for $9.1MM in cap space, and both were Holland decisions. He had money; this is how he’s used it.”

  • Jonathan Willis: “*This, by the way, is more of a future comment than a present comment. We don’t *know* how Keith will perform in Edmonton, or if Kassian will bounce back. What we can say is that Holland had room to maneuver and this is where he went.”

Duncan Keith

Caleb Jones

Tim Soderlund

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