All of a sudden, 2015 feels like a long time ago.
Particularly for fans of the Chicago Blackhawks.
It was six years ago June 15, in fact, that the Blackhawks won the third of three Stanley Cups in a span of six seasons, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 at the United Center.
Only three players from those three championship teams—leading scorer Patrick Kane, team captain Jonathan Toews and defensive stalwart Duncan Keith—remain on the roster, but that could soon change.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Wednesday that the Blackhawks are working with Keith to facilitate a trade that would send the two-time Norris Trophy winner to either the Pacific Northwest or western Canada.
Friedman said Keith wants to be closer to family.
Now 37, Keith was born in Winnipeg and later lived in British Columbia and played junior hockey there. He's spent his entire NHL career in Chicago after the Blackhawks drafted him in 2002 and he debuted in 2005.
He won the Norris Trophy in both 2009-10 and 2013-14, earned the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2014-15 and was named on the list of the 100 greatest NHL players during the league's centennial in 2017.
But the team around him has gotten younger as many core veterans have either moved on or retired, and Keith's effectiveness has waned. He averaged 44 points per 82 games through his first 14 seasons but has skidded to slightly below 30 points over the past two, including just 15 in 54 games in 2020-21.
He has two seasons remaining on the front-loaded 13-year, $72 million contract he signed in 2009, carrying an annual cap hit of $5.54 million—though his base salary for the two seasons will amount to $3.6 million.
The idea that one of Chicago's signature players might exit set off alarm bells in the B/R hockey writing room, prompting us to compile a list of places where the future Hall of Famer could wind up.
Click through to see what we came up with, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
This isn't the first time a trade rumor has emerged.
And history shows plenty of deals that seem imminent never come to pass.
So there's a chance that Keith remains where he is and finds himself back in a No. 2 sweater in Chicago this fall or simply walks away after 16 seasons, three championship rings and having earned more than $70 million.
That will be a decision made behind the scenes by Keith and Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman, and it will probably have quite a bit to do with what sort of market there is for the player's services and what Chicago is able to get in return now that his apparent desire to leave has been made public.
Particularly if Bowman's GM counterparts find Keith's price tag too hefty.
Bottom line, if you're set to wager on him playing elsewhere come October, it might be wise to hedge a bit.
It does make sense. But it doesn't make sense.
On one side, if a guy wants to go to western Canada, Vancouver is the spot when it comes to the NHL. Plus, he played junior hockey in British Columbia and still has family in the province.
If it's all about sentiment, the Canucks are among the front-runners.
On the other side, though, are the hockey and the economics. Vancouver is looking to build back toward the level that saw it in the Stanley Cup Final a year after Keith and his Blackhawks won a title in 2009-10.
Adding a guy who will be 38 come opening night doesn't seem to jibe with that approach.
The Canucks have young restricted free agents Quinn Hughes (21) and Elias Pettersson (22) to tend to this offseason and a handful of young defensemen in the pipeline—Olli Juolevi was picked fifth overall in 2016—so the hunk of change needed to get Keith isn't exactly easy to come up with. Nor is the need for him great.
Unless he gives a "Vancouver or bust" ultimatum, don't expect a British Columbia homecoming.