Duncan Keith will serve a one game suspension for his slash against Jeff Carter in Game 3, meaning Sheldon Brookbank will suit up in Game 4 vs. the Los Angeles Kings.
Keith admitted to “intentionally swinging his stick on Carter as Carter is skating away from him” says Brendan Shanahan, the Director of Player Safety.
Obviously, this was a key factor in issuing the suspension, along with Keith’s prior history of suspensions, and the fact that Carter received 20 stitches. Shanahan also acknowledged the fact that Keith’s actions were in retaliation to Carter’s slash to Keith’s exposed hand, and that Keith did not intend on hitting Carter in the face, nor did he intend to do it with such force. Regardless, Shanahan clearly thought Keith’s actions were not justified and still issued the suspension with these thoughts in mind.
Keith was issued a four minute penalty on the play, which was the correct call. Incidents like this happen every game, but unfortunately for Keith, he happened to catch Carter in the face. Carter was not penalized for his slash on Keith’s hand.
Although I’m not surprised with the suspension, nor upset, I think that it was pretty clear that the issue was resolved during the game and no further disciplinary action was necessary. With that said, a one game suspension is appropriate considering the action that Keith took, but considering the way that the NHL has punished players in the past (Shea Weber), I was thinking that Shanahan would lean towards a fine rather than a suspension. With that in mind, I came to the conclusion that Duncan Keith was suspended, instead of fined, more-so for his prior history than the action/result on the ice.
After speaking to the media this morning, Carter didn’t seem very interested in discussing whether or not Keith deserves a suspension or not.
“It is was it is, it’s over and it’s done with. I’m not too worried about the incident.” When he was asked about a possible suspension he responded with “It’s up to Brendan, whatever he thinks is right.”
Sheldon Brookbank appeared in 26 games this season, all in the regular-season, contributing one goal, 21 PIMs, and a minus-2 rating. This will be his first postseason appearance in 2013. The last time Brookbank appeared in the NHL Playoffs was in 2011. He appeared in four games for the Ducks and did not contribute any points and was a minus-2.