There were rumors this might happen, and now it reportedly is becoming a reality. Duncan Keith is retiring.
We’ll go into Keith’s legacy more at a later time, because he’s worth a deep dive into his significance in the history of the Chicago Blackhawks. But for right now, the immediate reality is Keith leaves the Blackhawks with salary cap implications because of his retirement before the end of his contract.
This puts to bed the “how are the Blackhawks going to reach the salary floor” conversation (if there was one on social media), but it also adds a hit to the books that doesn’t really hurt the team at the NHL level because they’re obviously burning it down and starting over.
If the Blackhawks were keeping the band together and trying to win immediately, this could have been a crippling cap hit to add. But the trade of Alex DeBrincat’s salary (and a potential second deal for Kirby Dach) opens the cap space for this to hit and not have a huge impact on Davidson’s plan.