Duncan Keith, a two-time Norris Trophy winner, retiring after 17 NHL seasons

Elliotte Friedman talks about the decorated NHL career of veteran defenceman Duncan Keith and explains how his retirement will impact both the Edmonton Oilers and his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Courtesy: NHL Network

Duncan Keith, one of the best defencemen of his generation, is retiring after 17 NHL seasons, Sportsnet can confirm.

Keith’s list of NHL accolades is extensive. He won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2010s, a Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2015, and two Norris Trophies as the NHL’s best defenceman in 2010 and 2014.

Keith also sported the maple leaf on a number of occasions, winning Olympic gold at both the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Games with Team Canada.

The 38-year-old played the first 16 seasons of his career with the Blackhawks, before joining the Edmonton Oilers via trade for 2021-22.

Keith was a two-way defenceman, equally known for his ability to shut down top opponents and his elite point-producing from the blue line.

In total, he produced 625 points and a plus-144 rating, averaging a 24:57 ice-time over 1,192 career games.

The Winnipeg native broke the 60-point plateau in both his Norris Trophy-winning seasons, scoring career highs in points (69) and goals (14) in 2009-10.

During Chicago’s march to a third Stanley Cup in six seasons in 2015, Keith registered 21 points in 23 games with a plus-16 rating.

His retirement has significant salary cap implications for both the Oilers and Blackhawks.

For Edmonton, Keith has one year remaining at $5.54 million. That money will now become straight savings and create flexibility as the team looks to potentially re-sign its unrestricted and restricted free agents, and secure a new goaltender. 

Evander Kane and Brett Kulak are UFAs, while Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi and Ryan McLeod are RFAs. Between the pipes, Mikko Koskinen has moved on to play in Switzerland and Mike Smith’s health status for next season is unclear.

Chicago, meanwhile, will face a cap recapture penalty of $5.54 million next season and $1.9 million in 2023-23 — the reason being that contracts like Keith’s long-term, backloaded 13-year, $72-million deal signed in 2009 are now illegal under the CBA. The Blackhawks are therefore being penalized for cap space they saved throughout the first 11 seasons of his contract.

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