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“Do We Want To Get A Deal Done Or Not?”

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A prospective deal for Duncan Keith hasn’t yet gone stale, but Chicago might be looking for considerably more than they’re going to get

Florida Panthers v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

What day of this nonsense are we on? Nine? Ten? Entirely too many.

Yesterday felt like a good day, because finally it looked like all of the Duncan Keith trade talk might be slowing down.

Elliotte Friedman had his Friday radio hit with Stauffer today and it’s just more insanity after more insanity. Bob asked about what Friedman’s been hearing around the league when it comes to player movement, but Friedman threw a little cold water on all the non-stop Ducan Keith talk we’ve been hearing.

“I think the Blackhawks have asked for some pieces that Edmonton’s not willing to do, and I think we’re in a situation where if Chicago does want to do to this, we might be down to one team that they can do it with...I think that Edmonton is probably the time right now, and I think the OIlers are saying “Okay, do we want to get a deal done or not?” I don’t think Edmonton’s willing to discuss an Ethan Bear, I don’t think they’re going to discuss a McLeod. So, I think we come down to a situation where Edmonton is saying “Okay we’ve been working at this for...probably ten days, maybe longer?...I think Edmonton just wants to know if this is going to get done.”

Source (5:15)

There’s a lot to unpack here.

It’s unclear (to me, at least) whether or not this implies that the Blackhawks asked for Ethan Bear or Ryan McLeod as part of a prospective deal involving Duncan Keith, but holy cow if they did. I’m pretty critical of Holland’s work (and I still think there’s a good shot that Duncan Keith is an Oiler by the time the expansion draft comes around) but it’s...it’s a good thing that Holland isn’t so lazer focused on Duncan Keith to the point where he’d think about putting Ethan Bear on the trade table. Or, Ryan McLeod.

OK, WHAT DOES A GOOD DEAL FOR DUNCAN KEITH LOOK LIKE?

The best Duncan Keith deal looks like Ken Holland quickly hanging up on Stan Bowman after Bowman asks for Ethan Bear. Better yet, the best Duncan Keith deal looks like Holland blocking his number.

If the Oilers just gotta have a 38 year old defenceman on their roster, the best deal is a conditional draft pick with Chicago holding half of his 5.5MM cap hit, then another club holding half of that number (like 1.375MM of the remaining cap hit) so that Keith can play sheltered minutes on the third pair. This will all but surely expose Caleb Jones in expansion, where the Kraken could have him for nothing at all. The Oilers would still need a viable second pairing defenceman if Oscar Klefbom isn’t available, which is why I’m not sure why the Oilers are even talking to Chicago about Duncan Keith.