When it comes to acquiring Duncan Keith, you just don’t know. And anyone who says they do know — for sure, without an ounce of uncertainty — is full of Schlitz.
So there is an inherent element of gamble — no big scoop when you’re talking about acquiring a nearly 38-year-old defenceman with a $5.5-million cap hit.
This trade, should the Edmonton Oilers choose to make it, is about intangibles. It is not — we repeat, NOT — an analytics trade. Even if this Sportlogiq piece makes a favourable case of the numbers for Keith on a team where he can play secondary minutes.
When we look back on this deal two years from now — when an unrestricted free agent Keith is pushing 40 — we will know just how much Keith helped the Oilers in all those areas that our friends in the analytics community can not track. Those are intangibles that hockey people covet, but can also be responsible for acquiring players like Milan Lucic and Loui Eriksson with huge, untenable contracts.
The difference for Keith is, his minutes and on-ice responsibilities would decrease in Edmonton, an important distinction. And the areas that improve with age — leadership, teaching ability, helping younger players — would be a great part of his game.
He can still skate and he can still play. That is what all of my sources tell me.