Rumblings of a big trade brewing between the Blackhawks and Oilers.

A bit of a head scratcher on the surface.


We have rumors of a pretty significant trade that have recently come to light, but I've got to be honest on the surface of it this deal does not make a ton of sense to me.

First, the rumor. According to a report from Daniel Nugent Bowman of The Athletic on Friday, the Edmonton Oilers and the Chicago Blackhawks have "mutual interest" in a trade deal that would see veteran defenseman Duncan Keith getting a change of scenery. Keith, who is currently a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, would be on the move to Edmonton as a part of this deal and given that the Oilers have some salary cap issues it really does seem like a bit of a head scratcher.

There are however outside factors that appear to be playing a significant role in this deal coming together, with perhaps the fact that Keith himself has asked to be traded being the primary motivating factor. Keith reportedly wants to be moved to a team that will bring him closer to his son, who lives in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. The main city in the Okanagan Valley is Kelowna, B.C. which is just a 75 minute flight out of Edmonton, something that would be much easier to manage than his current travel from Chicago especially in the middle of an ongoing pandemic.

The timing for the Oilers here could actually prove to be quite beneficial, even considering the fact that Keith has shown signs of serious decline in recent years, when you factor in the negative news around the status of Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom. It sounds like Klefbom will be unable to start the season, with some speculating that he may not play at all, and Keith's veteran leadership could certainly service to fill the gap left by Klefbom on the blue line.

That being said Keith carries a cap hit of $5.538 million for both this upcoming season and the next, despite being owed only a fraction of that in actual dollars, which means that his contract is an extremely unattractive one for any organization to take on. Any deal that would fail to send a bad contract back the other way I feel would be a huge mistake on the part of the Oilers organization, unless they are getting an additional asset in the deal in order to compensate for the cap relief the Blackhawks will be getting by moving Keith.

There's also the reality of the upcoming expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken, an event that I suspect will prevent the Oilers from pulling the trigger on this deal until AFTER the expansion draft has come and gone. Keeping all that in mind, this one is starting to sound like it will happen at some point this summer.