Alright look: there’s asking a pretty penny for a player, then there is straight up overvaluing an asset.
Chicago has apparently taken the later route in trade discussions with the Edmonton Oilers in a Duncan Keith trade.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Chicago is believed to have asked the Edmonton Oilers for Ryan McLeod and/or Ethan Bear in a trade.
Chicago and Edmonton have been grinding away on a Duncan Keith deal for almost two weeks now, and we’re getting to the point of, “Does this happen, or not?” It’s believed Edmonton’s turned down some of the asks, such as Ethan Bear and/or Ryan McLeod. There’s definitely a desire for finality.
As I mentioned on Twitter last night, the “and” is doing a lot of work here.
I understand this from Chicago’s perspective. Keith is a two-time Norris winner, a one-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner, three-time Stanley Cup Champion, a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and one of the best to ever don a Chicago jersey. Is it a surprise Stan Bowman asked for Ryan McLeod and/or Ethan Bear? No. Is it laughable? Yes. Would I consider breaking off trade discussions? Also yes.
Ethan Bear has established himself as a legit top-four defenceman in the NHL. His WAR contributions offensively and defensively at even strength place him in the 67th and 77th percentiles, respectively, all the while facing some tough competition in the 77th percentile.
His raw numbers don’t jump out at you with eight goals and 33 points in 132 career games, but he’s already carried his weight as a top-pairing defenceman in 2019-20 and doing a good job in that.
At 23-years-old, the world is his oyster and his game is going to continue to improve for the next number of years. That’s an invaluable asset to the Oilers organization.
McLeod, meanwhile, appears to have all the workings of a legit top-nine threat in the NHL. He thinks the game at a very high level and has produced lots of offence at every level he’s played at in the last two years.
The Oilers were right in turning down both asks from Chicago and the game of cat and mouse continues between the two clubs.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]