UPDATE: NHL Suspends Keith One Game
Duncan Keith is undergoing a disciplinary hearing Wednesday that began at 10:30 a.m. with the NHL Department of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan to explain his slash/high stick on LA Kings Jeff Carter in last night's Western Conference Finals Game 3 at the Staples Center, NBC Chicago has confirmed.
Carter left the game bleeding from the neck and Keith was issued two double minors.
Shanahan, vice president of the Player Safety, will determine if further disciplinary action is necessary with either a fine or suspension.
After the slash, Keith was seen apologizing to Carter and told reporters it was an accident.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings were doing battle in Game 3 on Tuesday when things started getting a bit chippy.
Kings forward Jeff Carter took a swing at the wrist of Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith, who was reaching down to pick up his glove from the ice. Incredlous at the play, Keith then swung his stick at Carter, hitting the forward in the face and drawing blood.
The play resulted in a four minute double minor for Keith, but the question making the rounds now is whether or not the penalty should be more severe.
Here's the play in question:
Obviously, Keith showed a great deal of contrition after the play, but Carter was having none of it. Reaction around the web was swift as well, with many Kings fans calling for a ban and many Hawks fans pointing out that Keith had a right to be angry on the play.
Former referee Kerry Fraser also weighed in on the play on his Twitter account:
So should Keith be suspended? It was definitely a dangerous play, and while Keith may not have meant to hit Carter as high as he did, the fact is that he definitely meant to hit him, and with that in mind, NHL head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan should suspend him for Game 4.
According to various reports, Keith will get a hearing with Shanahan at some point on Wednesday over the hit. That doesn't guarantee a suspension, but it means that the league is taking the play seriously.
Here's the news from John Shannon of Canada's Sportsnet:
Have confirmed that Duncan Keith will have a hearing today for his high stick on Jeff Carter. Hearing will be later today. — John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 5, 2013
This isn't Duncan Keith's first rodeo with a retaliatory strike. Back in 2009, he was hit behind the Hawks net by Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke, and delievered this shot to Cooke's head at the other end of the ice:
He was not suspended on the play, but when Shanahan takes that into account, along with his five game ban for elbowing Vancouver Canucks winger Daniel Sedin in the head, it may play a role in determining whether or not he will get a suspension.
What's your take, Hawks fans?