Speculation: Duncan Keith to Montreal

There has been a lot of speculation on whether or not the Montreal Canadiens are looking to trade for a left-handed defence-man. Names like Jake Muzzin and Michael Matheson have been tossed around as possible targets, but what about Duncan Keith?
Why this trade makes sense for Chicago
The Blackhawks are currently 30th in the NHL, with no signs of improving any time soon. With much of their core over 30 years old, the team needs to think about blowing up their core, and players like Keith would likely be dealt. This way, their cap space and roster spot is cleared up to make room for young prospects to emerge into a new core.

Why this trade makes sense for Montreal
The Canadiens have surprised many people this season. After a pair of controversial trades involving Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty, new arrival Tomas Tatar has supplemented some of the scoring lost, and Max Domi has turned into the top-6 centre that Montreal desperately needed. One area of concern is their LD position. While they have several players that can play on the left side, none of them are good enough to be a legitimate partner for Shea Weber.
Enter Duncan Keith, who could be an excellent partner for Weber. The addition of Keith would really round out the Canadiens defensive core and bring some order to their LD position.

Obstacles/Reasons the trade may not work
1. The Canadiens appear to be building for the future with younger players. After drafting, signing, and trading for prospects like Nick Suzuki, Jake Evans, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling, and several others, the team seems to be restocking their cupboards to help the team rebuild. If that's true, this trade would be counter-intuitive to all the work that has been over the past summer. Mortgaging the team's future for a 35-year old doesn't make sense for the Canadiens if they are looking to rebuild.

2. Keith has 5 years left on his contract at about a 5.5 million dollar cap hit. His contract also includes a full no movement clause. In other words, Keith would have to agree to any trade the Blackhawks try to make.

3. The Blackhawks currently have 49 players signed into their system. Therefore, Chicago could only receive two players back if only Keith is exchanged. This would make any trade involving prospects difficult, and would more likely involve picks instead.

Possible trade targets for Chicago
1. G Charlie Lindgren
With Corey Crawford's health situation up in the air, and Cam Ward prolapsing all over the ice this season, the Blackhawks could use some goal-tending help. Lindgren is signed to a very inexpensive deal (3 years, 750K 1-way), has a fair amount of NHL experience under his belt, and could become the starting goalie for the Blackhawks if Crawford gets injured again.

2. G Cayden Primeau
When the Canadiens selected Primeau in the 7th round of the 2017 draft, many were cheering for the pick, since Primeau was expected to be picked in the 3rd or 4th round. The season after being selected, Primeau stole the starting goalie position as a freshman at Northeastern University, and posted a 1.92 GAA and .931 SV%. Many analysts see Primeau as the future successor to Carey Price as the Canadiens next elite goaltender, and Chicago could absolutely use goaltending help. He is also 5 years younger than Lindgren, and would be more useful to Chicago's rebuild. Not to mention, Primeau is not yet signed, and would therefore not count against their 50 player contracts, so this opens up a little more opportunity to send another prospect over to Chicago should the need arise.

3. LD Victor Mete
At 20 years old, Mete is still very young, has plenty of NHL experience, and has shown quite a bit of potential with the Canadiens. Of course Chicago has plenty of prospects on the back end, highlighted by players like Boqvist and Jokiharju, but Mete could likely step into the Blackhawks lineup this season and further mature his game. He is not the world-beater that Duncan Keith is, but he is still a good prospect.

4. Draft picks
The Canadiens currently have one of the stronger prospect pools in the NHL, with players like Nick Suzuki, Ryan Poehling, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Cayden Primeau leading the way. They also posses 10 draft picks in the upcoming draft, including their own 1st rounder and two 2nd rounders. If the Blackhawks want to make a deal involving Duncan Keith, Montreal would have plenty of picks that could be used instead of prospects since Chicago is already at 49/50 player contracts.

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