Duncan Keith expected to retire

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The Edmonton Oilers have cleared even more cap space. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports that Duncan Keith has decided to retire, which will not only open cap space for the Oilers, but also mean a significant cap recapture penalty for the Chicago Blackhawks:

  • 2022-23: $5.54MM
  • 2023-24: $1.94MM

Cap recapture is a function of the CBA that penalizes teams for previously signing extremely front-loaded contracts. When Keith signed his 13-year, $72MM deal in 2009, the last few years included a very low salary in order to drop the overall average.

For instance, he would have only earned $1.5MM this season in actual salary. The Blackhawks then must repay the savings they received in the early part of the contract–Keith was earning $8MM per season at the start of the deal while carrying a cap hit of just $5.54MM

On the other end of that coin, the Oilers should actually receive a cap credit, as they paid the elevated cap hit this season despite Keith only making $2.1MM.