The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith six games for an incident that occurred in Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.
During the game Keith was “lightly” knocked to the ice by Wild forward Charlie Coyle and, from his back, retaliated by slashing Coyle in the face. This was ruled a high sticking infraction. Keith was assessed a five-minute major and a match penalty.
It was a fairly brutal play that left Coyle bloody that night. By the next game he looking a little like Frankenstein’s monster, complete with stitches, a wonky nose and black eye.
The league explanation notes that he was in complete control of his stick the entire time and that the high sticking infraction is not simply reckless. There was also speculation that Keith had been cross-checked by Coyle, but the DoPS video shows that to not be the case.
Watch the DoPS explanatory video below.
A six-game suspension puts the Blackhawks without their ice-time leader through the remainder of the regular season and their first playoff game.
Due to suspension, Keith will forfeit $148,883.36 in salary, according to General Fanager. That accounts for the five regular season games, but not the single playoff game.
Through 67 games this season, Keith has posted nine goals and 34 assists.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.