Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith has been offered an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety, according to a tweet from the Department of Player Safety’s official Twitter.
Chicago's Duncan Keith has been offered an in person hearing for high-sticking on Minnesota's Charlie Coyle.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 30, 2016
Keith swung his stick and slashed Minnesota Wild’s Charlie Coyle in the face, leaving Coyle bloodied from the incident. Keith was assessed a match penalty on the play for intent to injure and ejected from the game. Video of the incident is below.
An in-person hearing means that Keith can be suspended for six or more games. He does have the ability to waive the in-person hearing, thereby having it over the phone in order to speed up the process. Something the Blackhawks would likely prefer with the postseason nearing.
Chicago has five regular season games remaining, so a suspension of six or more will mean no Keith for at least a portion of the postseason. How long is yet to be determined.
Keith’s history won’t bode well for the discipline he receives, as he’s no stranger to this type of incident. He received a one-game suspension during the 2013 Western Conference finals for a retaliatory high stick on Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings. The slash on Carter was eerily similar to what occurred last night.
Keith was also suspended for five games in 2012 for elbowing Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks.
Keith has nine goals and 43 total points through 67 games this season. The Blackhawks currently sit third in the Central Division and have already clinched a playoff spot.