Blackhawks trade Duncan Keith to the Oilers for Caleb Jones in cost-cutting move

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded Duncan Keith to the Edmonton Oilers, and they’ve saved a lot of money too.

As the idea the Blackhawks would work to send Duncan Keith to a place he can be closer to family, the Edmonton Oilers surfaced as a possible landing spot. On Monday, according to multiple reports, Keith is indeed on his way to Edmonton for defenseman Caleb Jones and a third-round pick.

NHL writer John Shannon passed along the cap hit Keith will carry over the next two years. It doesn’t look like Chicago is retaining any salary in the deal, so they will save that $5.5 million. They have also created options for who they will protect for the July 21 expansion draft by dealing Keith before this week’s transaction freeze.

Jones, 24, is far younger than Keith, who’ll turn 38 on Friday. Chicago’s reported interest in his brother, Columbus Jackets’ defenseman Seth Jones, adds a layer to acquiring the younger Jones who’ll carry an $850,000 cap hit next season before becoming a restricted free agent in 2022. In 93 NHL games, Caleb Jones has 19 points, 99 blocked shots and 80 hits.

A key cog on three Stanley Cup-winning squads, Keith goes down as one of the best players in Blackhawks have ever had. In franchise history, he’s second among defenseman in games played (behind only Stan Mikita) and scoring (behind only Doug Wilson).

The Oilers are adding much-needed experience to their blue line, as they consider who they’ll try to keep in free agency. Keith can still take on a lot of minutes (more than 23 per game this past season).