Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith: ‘I’ll serve my time’Continue reading.
Duncan Keith waits to hear his fate from the league
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith sounded like he just wanted to get everything over with when the media engulfed his locker-room stall at the United Center after practice Friday.
Keith had a disciplinary hearing with the NHL at 1 p.m. Friday for his elbow to the head of Canucks forward Daniel Sedin on Wednesday night.
In an interesting move late Thursday night, the NHL decided to request an in-person hearing for Keith, which means a suspension of six or more games is possible, after initially scheduling a phone hearing. Hearings over the phone dictate that suspensions must be five games or less.
Keith waived his right to the in-person hearing and the 1 p.m. hearing went on as scheduled, but NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan can still suspend him for more than five games. But there is still no guarantee that Shanahan will, considering Keith has no prior suspension history.
“I think we’re going to talk Brendan, see what happens and let the NHL make a decision,” Keith said before the hearing. “I respect all the decisions they make.
“I feel like I’m a pretty standup player out on the ice. We’ll see what happens.”
Sedin is out with a concussion, but the most contentious factor Shanahan will consider and ask Keith about is whether he acted out of retaliation after enduring an earlier high hit from Sedin in the game Wednesday.
Henrik Sedin insinuated that Keith said he was going after his brother Daniel after taking a shoulder-to-head hit from him earlier in the first period. Keith received a two-minute minor for his elbow, but Daniel Sedin was not penalized for his hit. For videos of both hits, click here.
“Everything was all right until you get hits like that,” Henrik Sedin said after Wednesday’s game. “Again, it’s not part of hockey and it’s too bad it comes from a guy that’s supposed to be a tough player that plays hard. It shouldn’t be a part of the game, especially when you hear comments, too, from him before it happened from guys and then they do it. That’s too bad.”
Keith declined to comment Friday on Sedin’s hit, saying “I’m not going to get into everything with what’s happened.”
Coach Joel Quenneville said he didn’t know why the league decided to request an in-person hearing after a phone hearing was already scheduled.
“We’ll see how it plays out,” Quenneville said. “It’s a tough hit. … He’s never done it before. I don’t think there’s a history there. Whether it’s the play, the emotion or the rivalry, a lot goes into it. That’s where it’s at.”
The rivalry between the Hawks and the Canucks and the profile of the players involved has increased the scrutiny. The alleged retaliatory aspect of it too has played a role too.
The only similar situation this season occurred in January when Boston Bruins pest Brad Marchand clipped Canucks defenseman Sami Salo in response to a previous hit. Marchand was suspended five games.
“Obviously, it’s a heated rivalry [between the Hawks and Canucks] that has a lot of attention other than the game,” Keith said. “There’s things that happen. There’s lots over the past that have happened with our teams that have gotten a lot of media attention.”
More later once the suspension is issued …