Keith skates with the Oilers for the first time
EDMONTON – Duncan Keith skated with the Edmonton Oilers for the first time on Friday after completing a mandatory two-week quarantine following his COVID-19 vaccination.
The 38-year-old defenseman, who was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 12, will continue to skate over the weekend and could make his preseason debut against the Calgary Flames on Monday.
âI feel great and I feel I can still contribute and help this team win hockey games,â said Keith. “However, the coaches see me in my place, I’m ready to do whatever they want, whatever they need. It was a big change for me to come to a new organization, and I wanted to continue my career. , I wanted to play in front of my son, for this organization. I want to play for these guys and this team and be a part of it. “
A Winnipeg native, Keith played 16 seasons with the Blackhawks, who selected him in the second round (54th overall) of the 2002 NHL Draft, before asking for a trade this offseason to be closer to his family in Penticton. , in British Columbia.
During his time in Chicago, Keith won the Stanley Cup three times (2010, 2013 and 2015), including the Conn Smythe Trophy named Best Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2015. He won the Norris Trophy named Best Defenseman . in the NHL in 2010 and 2014 and was named to the NHL First Team All-Star twice (2010 and 2014).
He has two seasons left on a 13-year, $ 72 million contract (average annual value of $ 5.53 million) he signed on December 3, 2009.
âI was fortunate enough to play for a big organization for a long time in Chicago, but everything that has happened since trading with this team in Edmonton makes me feel right at home and makes me proud to be a Oiler and excited to be a part of this team, âsaid Keith. âI can’t say enough about the way I have been treated here. I feel like I’ve been spoiled. The organization and even the people of Edmonton have helped me a lot. group and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. “
Keith should play on the second defensive pair with either Evan bouchard Where Cody This this season for Edmonton, who finished second in the seven-team Scotia North Division last season (35-19-2) and was swept away by the Winnipeg Jets in the Stanley Cup first round, losing the last three top 7 playoff games in overtime.
âI want to help this team in any way I can, and it has always been my goal to be my best, and whatever happens I try to come to terms with this situation and this role,â said Keith. âI think we have a lot of good defenders here: Tyson barrie, Darnell Nurse, Evan Bouchard – a promising young man – the list goes on. We will all try to push each other to improve and I think internal competition is good for our group to have where we can push each other to improve ourselves and ultimately our team. “
Photos courtesy of the Edmonton Oilers