Duncan Keith’s Lax Suspension Reinforces the Ugly Stereotypes of NHL Discipline

April 3rd, 2016 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »

Had the NHL wanted to send a message that it was serious about stick-swinging and shots to opponents’ heads, it could not have asked for a better opportunity than the one Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith offered up on Tuesday when he swung his stick into the face of opponent Charlie Coyle.

It was a tremendous opportunity. The NHL managed to turn it into a serious problem.

The violent intent here was hard to deny; there was little room for belief that this was an accidental swing of the stick. As the NHL Department of Player Safety’s official suspension video forcefully argued, this was a deliberate act on Keith’s part toward the Minnesota Wild forward:

While on his back, Keith looks at Coyle, winds his arm back, then slashes his stick dangerously and violently, directly into the face of Coyle … It is important to note that Keith is in perfect control of his stick at all times. This motion is made intentionally, not recklessly … Keith is looking directly at his opponent, winds his arm back and whips it forward with a chopping motion aimed at Coyle’s fac ...

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