Hextall on Hockey: Keith to give Oilers veteran leadership

Three-time Stanley Cup winner, 2015 Conn Smythe winner, two-time Norris Trophy winner, two-time Olympic gold medallist.

This is the resume of decorated defenceman Duncan Keith, who, as of Monday, is now a member of the Edmonton Oilers.

It’s a trade that didn’t receive rave reviews by many.

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The main point of contention is the fact Chicago didn’t retain any of Keith’s $5.5-million cap hit over the last two years of his current contract.

I’m not the proper person to dive into contracts and cap chat — it’s complex and there is often another shoe to drop when a move doesn’t seem to make complete economic sense.

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What we do know: for years, the Oilers’ narrative has been a lack of veteran leadership.

The Oilers have tons of talent but still are figuring out what it takes to win.

Keith is the epitome of both those items.

In addition, any player who, at 37 years of age, can lead a team in time on ice, playing 23-plus minutes a game, still has some gas left in the tank.

As Keith himself said, “I feel like I got a lot. Once we hit the ice, we’re gonna see who’s a step behind this year. I’m not much for talking. It is what it is and we’ll see what happens when we get on the ice.”

No trade is perfect. This trade is a gamble and, to be honest, it doesn’t make complete sense to me.

But I have a hard time believing this trade doesn’t benefit a key need for the Oilers — it might just be one we on the outside can’t clearly see.

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