Oilers’ Duncan Keith announces retirement after 17 seasons

Edmonton Oilers' Duncan Keith (2) skates against the Calgary Flames. (Jason Franson/CP)

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Duncan Keith, one of the top blue-liners of his generation, officially announced his retirement on Tuesday after a 17-year career in the NHL.

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.

The Blackhawks took to Twitter as well after Tuesday’s announcement to congratulate Keith.

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 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 accumulated 625 points and a plus-144 rating, averaging 24:57 of 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.

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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