On the latest edition of TSN 1050’s Leafs Lunch program with Andi Petrillo and Craig Button, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun discussed some potential targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs heading into the second half of the season.
Among the names suggested by the hosts was former Norris Trophy winning defenseman Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks. When asked if Keith is someone on the Leafs’ radar or not, LeBrun wasn’t convinced.
Check it out:
“I certainly see the merit and the reasoning, but I don’t believe Duncan Keith is on the Leafs’ radar right now. I don’t think that’s a guy they’re targeting.”
“I think probably the reason why is that Duncan Keith still has another four years at a $5.5 million cap hit, which is not unreasonable, but he is 35 years old.”
“I get why you’d want a three time Cup champion and two time Olympic gold medalist on the roster, but from all the information I’ve gathered, I don’t believe that to be an option.”
This makes sense… I mean, while no one is questioning Keith’s track record of success, he’s simply not the player he used to be. The 35 year old blue liner has 16 points through 36 games with the Blackhawks this season, but as LeBrun reports he’s still owed $5.5 million against the cap for the next five seasons. So, while Keith may be a good fit for this year and potentially even next year, paying a defenseman in his mid to late 30s $5.5 million will SERIOUSLY handcuff this team moving forward.