With the Blackhawks once again being a playoff bubble team, some have wondered if veteran defenseman Duncan Keith would be willing to waive his no-move clause to go to a contender. Speaking with Mark Lazerus of The Athletic (subscription required), the 36-year-old indicated that his preference is to remain with Chicago and is particularly holding out hope that the team will soon be back in contention. Keith has spent the entirety of his 15-year NHL career in the Windy City and it’s evident that he’d prefer to finish his career with the team that drafted him in the second round back in 2002. He has three years remaining on his contract after this one with a $5.538MM AAV, a price tag that would be tricky for a lot of contenders to take on anyway even if Keith was more open to the idea of moving.
More from Chicago:
- It has been a quieter season offensively for defenseman Erik Gustafsson. While he still leads all Chicago blueliners in points in 25, he’s well below the pace needed to reach his point total of 60. He admitted to Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago that his contract situation has weighed on him this season which may be contributing to the lower production. The 27-year-old is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and with Keith, Olli Maatta, and Brent Seabrook all signed for several more years, there may not be room to keep Gustafsson around on the left side. With a $1.2MM cap hit, he should garner a lot of interest if the Blackhawks decide to sell at the trade deadline.
- Forward Zack Smith will miss the next seven-to-ten days due to a left hand injury, the team announced (Twitter link). The veteran has had a limited role in his first season with Chicago, recording just 11 points in 50 games while averaging just 11:47 per night, his lowest average in any full season of his career. The Blackhawks had made Smith available earlier in the season but between this and his $3.25MM cap hit, a trade at this point seems unlikely.