Brendan Shanahan of the NHL Department of Player Safety announced a one-game suspension for Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith on Wednesday afternoon for his second period retaliatory high stick on Jeff Carter in Game 3 at Staples Center on Tuesday. Keith, whose 24:44 ice time average leads the Blackhawks by a wide margin, will sit out Game 4 on Thursday night.
“This is more serious than a case of a player simply having to responsible for his stick,” Shanahan explained in the video above. “It is not an accidental high stick, nor is it a defensive high stick to an opponent. This is a retaliatory high stick to an opponent that causes an injury.”
Carter received 20 stitches because of the high stick, which also chipped several of his teeth.
Though Carter and Keith had been jostling away from the play and Carter had swiped at Keith’s glove as the Chicago defenseman attempted to retrieve it for the ice prior to the high stick, “that still does not justify the extent of Keith’s actions,” according to Shanahan.
A one-game suspension seems fair and appropriate. This isn’t the regular season, where Keith’s actions may have drawn a slightly longer suspension; those expecting a harsher verdict were setting themselves up for disappointment. It is most certainly a suspendable offense, however, and it was correct to administer something more stern than a simple fine.
Keith, who was suspended five games for a violent elbow that concussed Daniel Sedin and kept the Canucks’ sniper out until Game 4 of the Los Angeles – Vancouver Western Conference Quarterfinals series from a year ago, received the second suspension of his NHL career.
This could mean that former Anaheim Duck Sheldon Brookbank will replace Keith in the lineup for Game 4. Brookbank recorded one goal over an average 12:45 of ice time in 26 games this season. He has five career goals – one of which came at Staples Center in a 4-2 Los Angeles win over Anaheim on March 3, 2012 – in 320 career regular season and playoff games.