During Duncan Keith's hearing with the NHL on Friday, the Blackhawks defenseman argued he was trying to impede the progress of Daniel Sedin when he clocked the Canucks winger in the chin with his elbow during Wednesday night's 2-1 victory in overtime.
League disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan wasn't having it.
He suspended Keith five games for the hit on Sedin, who reportedly suffered a concussion on the play. Along with missing critical contests down the stretch run to the playoffs, Keith will forfeit $149,688.15 in salary.
During a video explaining the suspension, Shanahan took into account that in nearly seven seasons in the NHL, Keith never had been suspended and he had been fined only once as supplemental discipline.
"I feel like I'm a pretty stand-up player out on the ice," Keith said after Friday's practice at the United Center. "I respect (Shanahan's) decisions and his job and the NHL's job."
Keith didn't want to get into specifics about the incident, which came a few minutes after Sedin checked him into the boards with a shoulder hit to the head during the intense game between the Western Conference rivals.
"Regardless of Keith's assertion that the intent on this play was to impede Sedin's progress as opposed to a retaliation for an earlier hit, Keith's hit was still dangerous, reckless and caused injury," Shanahan said in the video.
NHL suspends Keith for 5 games
Chicago Tribune | Mar 24