When Duncan Keith signed a 13-year contract extension with the Blackhawks in December of 2009, the move was supposed to keep him tied to Chicago for the rest of his NHL career. Both parties would've loved a storybook ending.
But after an extremely challenging COVID-19-shortened season in 2020-21, Keith recently approached the Blackhawks and respectfully requested a trade to a Western Canadian team that would bring him closer to his son, Colton, who he saw only once over the course of a five-month span during the season due to the border restrictions.
The Blackhawks granted that wish on Monday, shipping the two-time Norris Trophy winner and forward prospect Tim Soderlund to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Caleb Jones and a conditional third-round pick in 2022.
Keith opened up about his decision in a video conference call after the trade was made official.
"I'd like to thank the Chicago Blackhawks and the Blackhawk organization, Rocky Wirtz, Danny Wirtz, and the entire Wirtz family for allowing me to be on their team for the last 16 seasons," Keith said. "We had great memories and a great run and Chicago Blackhawks are always going to be in my heart.
"Having said that, at this point in my career, I feel that being closer to my son, Colton, here, he lives here in Penticton [in British Columbia], that was a huge thing for me, and I just felt like the Edmonton Oilers, right now it was a good fit, a great fit, and I'm excited to start this new chapter of my career and try to win a Cup in Edmonton."