Blackhawks trade Keith for Oilers for Jones, 3rd round | Sports news

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By JAY COHEN and STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Sports Writers

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Blackhawks traded two-time Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith for the Edmonton Oilers for young defenseman Caleb Jones and a third round draft pick on Monday.

The Blackhawks also sent forward Tim Soderlund to the Oilers for help in defense after being swept away by Winnipeg in the first round of the Winnipeg playoffs. The 2022 draft pick will be runner-up if Edmonton reaches the Stanley Cup final next year and Keith is among the Oilers’ four best defenders in the entire Ice Age in three rounds.

In the first blockbuster trade of the NHL offseason since the Stanley Cup, no salary was withheld. Keith has a two-year contract with a salary cap of just over $ 5.5 million. He will be 38 years old on Friday.

Chicago general manager Stan Bowman said Keith “will go down as one of the best, most motivated defenders the game has ever seen.”

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“Recently Duncan came to us with a request to be sold to a team closer to his son and we were happy to work out something that would be of mutual benefit to Duncan’s family and the future of the Blackhawks,” Bowman said in one Press release. “We appreciate all that he has contributed to our team and the city of Chicago, and his legacy is always celebrated.”

Keith is the newest member of Chicago’s three-time Stanley Cup winner to leave as the embattled Blackhawks attempt to rebuild their roster amid an investigation into sexual assault allegations from their 2010 championship run.

Long-time defense partner Brent Seabrook announced his resignation due to injuries in March. Niklas Hjalmarsson was traded to Arizona in 2017. Captain Jonathan Toews said he expected to play in 2021-22 after being absent due to illness last season.

Jones has just turned 24 and has 95 NHL regular season and playoff experience. Columbus defender Seth Jones’ brother is under contract until next season with a salary of $ 850,000, slightly above the league minimum.

“Caleb Jones is a sleek, versatile defender who brings a well-rounded game to the Blackhawks,” said Bowman. “Caleb brings the puck well with his legs or through exhaust passes over his best hockey is in front of him.”

That move could make the Blackhawks a more attractive contender for Seth Jones, who is a year away from full free representation and will be bought in by the Blue Jackets this summer. Jones has some control over where he plays next depending on which teams he would and would not sign long-term renewal with.

Keith had full power over his travel destination thanks to the full no-movement clause contained in the $ 72 million 13-year contract he signed in 2009. This deal enables Chicago to take another step in rebuilding and bring Keith closer to home.

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, joins a contender in Edmonton who has the final two Hart Trophy winners as league MVPs: Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, the latter of whom is considered the best player in hockey. The Oilers have long struggled to keep the puck out of their net and have only won one playoff series since McDavid was drafted in 2015.

That was shortly after Keith won the Conn Smythe Trophy as a playoff MVP and led the Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup title in six seasons. Keith won the Norris Trophy for best defender in the league in 2010 and 2014 amid Chicago championship time.

Keith has 625 points in 1,192 regular season games since the Blackhawks drafted him in the second round in 2002. More importantly, he has 86 points in 135 playoff games, which equates to an average ice time of 28 minutes.

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