Information is flowing fast after today’s reports that the Chicago Blackhawks are looking for trade options for longtime defender Duncan Keith. A veteran of almost 1,200 NHL games, all with the Blackhawks, he’s entered a steep decline since finishing fourth in Norris voting in 2016-17. Keith’s still been forced to play upwards of 23 minutes a night due to Chicago’s lack of defensive depth, and it’s hurt both his offensive and defensive numbers significantly. He posted a career-low 15 points this season along with some of the worst possession metrics of his career. With two more seasons left at $5.5MM, Chicago is antsy to get out of the deal as soon as they can. With Elliotte Friedman’s reports today that a potential destination is likely in the Pacific Northwest or Western Canada, combined with the fact that Keith has a residence in Penticton, British Columbia, many pointed to the Vancouver Canucks as a suitor for the 37-year-old. The Athletic’s Rick Dhaliwal is now reporting, however, that the Canucks haven’t shown interest in Keith and won’t make any efforts to acquire him. Taking on more salary is understandably tough for Vancouver right now, who still have Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to sign to new contracts this offseason.
- Despite the Detroit Red Wings being one of the more up-and-coming teams in the league, one of their prospects is deciding to leave the organization. Mark Divver of The New England Hockey Journal reports that goaltender Keith Petruzzelli doesn’t intend to sign his entry-level contract with the Wings and will hit free agency in August. A promising young netminder with a big 6′ 5″ frame, Petruzzelli was drafted in the third round (88th overall) by Detroit at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft after a solid season with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks. Petruzzelli has since spent his hockey career playing four seasons for Quinnipiac University, with his record and save percentage climbing every season. Capping off his senior year with a .926 save percentage and 17-8-4 record, Petruzzelli will undoubtedly receive NHL and AHL offers this August to join another organization.
- A report today by NHL.com’s Mike Morreale says that the Buffalo Sabres still have not interviewed defender Owen Power, the expected first-overall selection in this year’s draft. Power is quoted in the piece as saying that he’s already spoken with 10 to 15 teams, additionally, he doesn’t know when a potential interview with the Sabres could happen. Power, a gigantic 6′ 5″ left-shot defender, has seen himself rise to the top of rankings due to his impressive two-way play and skating. It’s hard to remember the last time the consensus top prospect wasn’t taken with the first-overall pick, but with the minuscule talent gap between the top few prospects, it’s possible that Buffalo could indeed select someone else. It could be that they just don’t see left defense as a weakness, considering the presence of Rasmus Dahlin. It could also be that they just view someone else as the best player available. But with less than a month until draft day, all eyes will be on Buffalo’s scouts and an extremely important draft pick.
All contract information via CapFriendly.