Trade: Blackhawks send Duncan Keith to Oilers for Caleb Jones, pick

Duncan Keith Trade
Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks have traded defenseman Duncan Keith to the Oilers, sending away one of the franchise’s most significant players.

In return the Blackhawks will reportedly receive defenseman Caleb Jones and a conditional 2022 third-round draft pick. That draft pick will become a second-round pick if the Oilers win three playoff series and Keith is one of the Oilers’ top-four defensemen in terms of ice time during those rounds.

Edmonton will also receive AHL center Tim Soderlund as part of the trade.

The Blackhawks are also reportedly not retaining salary as part of the trade, a move that would clear more than $5.5M in cap space in each of the next two seasons.

This move has been rumored for a couple of weeks now as word initially surfaced that Keith and the Blackhawks were trying to work out a deal to send him to either the Pacific Northwest or Western Canada, where he is from. The Oilers were one of the teams that seemed to be a logical destination given their need for defense.

The question is going to be whether or not this is the move the Oilers needed. Keith’s resume as a player speaks for itself, and is probably good enough to put him in the Hall of Fame when his career ends. He is a two-time Norris Trophy winner, a Conn Smythe Trophy winner, a three-time Stanley Cup champion and was consistently one of the best all-around defenders in the league for more than a decade, all while playing for one of the best teams in the league. There is a good argument to be made that he was the best player on that team.

[Related: NHL Power Rankings: Players That Could Be Traded This Offseason]

But he is also 38 years old, is not the same player he was at his peak, and still carries a pretty significant salary cap hit that the Oilers are now completely taking on.

The bottom line for the Oilers is this: Keith might be an upgrade to their defense and make them somewhat better. But is he enough of an upgrade to justify the cost and salary commitment? If Keith were a free agent this offseason would he get $5.5M per year on a two-year contract? That might be a tough sell in a flat salary cap environment and given where he is in his career. The Oilers are not only paying all of that, they are also giving up two assets (a solid depth player in Caleb Jones and a pick) for the right to do it.

If this is the biggest move they make this offseason there will still be a lot of questions with this team in the short-term. Especially when there were a lot of other options available this offseason, ranging from Seth Jones and Matt Dumba in a trade, to Dougie Hamilton in free agency. There was a real opportunity to try and swing for the fences.

This trade also makes it seem likely that Adam Larsson will not be re-signing with the Oilers prior to the expansion draft later this month. With Keith now in the mix, he will almost certainly be the third defender they protect alongside Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear. By not re-signing Larsson until after they will not have to use a spot to protect him, while it is unlikely that Kraken will bother to negotiate a contract with him.

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    Bruins set NHL record with 12 straight home wins to start season

    Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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    BOSTON — The Boston Bruins set the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with their 12th straight, topping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime with a power-play goal from David Pastrnak.

    The Bruins broke the mark of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

    “That felt awesome,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said. “We talked about it after the second (period) going into the third. There’s been a lot of great teams in this league and you’re able to set a precedent, break a record. It’s pretty special and it doesn’t happen if those guys don’t believe in themselves like they do.”

    Boston, which trailed 2-0 late in the second period, tied it with 9:33 left in regulation when David Krejci scored his second of the game on a shot from the right point.

    “It’s never fun being down going into the third, you’re sitting in here (in the locker room) trying to figure it out,” Krejci said. “You want to come out and do the job, something special on the line. It’s hard to win in this league. To get 12 in a row at home is pretty special.”

    In overtime, Carolina was playing shorthanded after being called for too many men on the ice when Pastrnak one-timed a pass from Brad Marchand inside the far post from above the left circle.

    “It was a big win for us, obviously, coming from behind,” Pastrnak said.

    Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen each scored a power-play goal for Carolina, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 38 saves. The Hurricanes lost their fifth straight.

    In a rematch of last spring’s opening-round playoff series that the Hurricanes won in seven games, Carolina shutout the NHL’s highest scoring team for nearly two periods and jumped ahead a pair of power-play goals in the opening period.

    “We took too many penalties. That’s hurting us right now,” Kotaniemi said. “I think 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job. We started good tonight and couldn’t keep that up.”

    Boston’s tying goal was originally disallowed because of goaltender interference on Nick Foligno but overturned on a coach’s challenge after it was ruled that he was nudged into the crease by Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce.

    Boston starting goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves but had to leave with 13:03 left in the third period with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Teammate Connor Clifton had jumped on him to block a shot during a scramble. Jeremy Swayman made six stops in relief.

    Carolina’s Noesen scored at 6:34 in to make it 1-0. And with five minutes left in the period, Kotkaniemi collected the puck near the side of the net after Seth Jarvis‘ shot bounced off the back glass and slipped it inside the post at 15:05.

    Krejci scored for Boston with 31 seconds left in the second.

    Boston came in with a league-high 82 goals in 20 games (4.10 per game), but it was held to relatively few chances despite getting a 5-on-3 power-play advantage early on.

    TAKE NOTE

    The Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his 1,000th career point when the team was on the road against Tampa Bay, with a message on the Jumbotron. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

    Bergeron became just the fourth Bruin to reach the mark, joining Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012).

    UP NEXT

    Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

    Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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    NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  The Nashville Predators postponed two home games because of a water main break that soaked their downtown arena.

    Hours after the Predators decided they couldn’t play against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced it also postponed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Makeup dates for the two games will be announced later.

    The NHL said the water main break that occurred “significantly impacted the event level” of Bridgestone Arena. Team locker rooms and the ice surface are on the event level.

    Predators President and CEO Sean Henry told reporters that the water in the event level ranged from 3 inches to 3 feet.

    “We’re assessing it right now. We’re remediating it,” Henry said. “The good thing is, the water got shut off, the city responded in a pretty fast manner. I don’t think anyone is ready for things like this the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

    Video posted by a WTVF-TV reporter shows the water puddled up on the main floor’s concourse area and the team store. The team was forced to close the store until further notice, pointing shoppers online for Black Friday specials.

    The Predators’ next home game is now scheduled for Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

    The water issue also resulted in a switch to a different venue for a college hockey game between Northeastern and Western Michigan. They also had been scheduled to play at Bridgestone Arena, a game that was moved to Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

    Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild for 5th-round pick in 2025

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    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The New York Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick.

    Reaves had been a healthy scratch for eight of the past 12 games for the Rangers. He gives struggling Minnesota some extra muscle and a veteran presence.

    The 35-year-old is signed through only the rest of this season at a $1.75 million salary cap hit. He has no points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 games of his second season with New York.

    Reaves has played in 869 NHL regular-season and playoff games for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He was with the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18 when the reached the Stanley Cup Final.

    Toronto’s Morgan Rielly placed on long-term injured reserve

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    TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury.

    Rielly was hurt in a collision with with New York forward Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders at home.

    Rielly has no goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season and is averaging 23 minutes of ice time.

    Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice that the 28-year-old Rielly doesn’t need surgery, adding there’s no firm timeline for his return beyond the minimum 24 days and 10 games required for going on long-term injured reserve.

    Toronto’s defense is also missing Jake Muzzin with a neck injury and T.J. Brodie with an injured oblique.