Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is facing a lengthy suspension from the NHL after he was offered an in-person hearing to discuss his hit on Charlie Coyle in Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.
The offer of an in-person hearing means that the league has given itself the option to suspend Keith for six or more games for the hit, which came as the defenseman slashed Coyle in the face during an altercation on Tuesday.
Keith received an automatic one-game suspension when he was assessed a match penalty for the hit, meaning that he will at least miss Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Blackhawks have five games remaining in the regular season, but the league does have the option to extend any discipline into the postseason if they choose to do so.
Keith was suspended for five games back in 2011 after throwing an elbow at the head of Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin, and he was also suspended in 2013 after hitting Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter with a high-stick.