One wonders if the Department of Player Safety realizes that Duncan Keith’s decision to waive his right to an in-person hearing did not also negate their right to suspend him for more than 5 games. They know that, right?
You’ll forgive me if I don’t have the utmost confidence in the Shanavengers. When a blatant elbow to the face receives only a middling suspension, it’s clear that the NHL’s crusade to crack down on headshots deserves to be taking as seriously as, well, the Crusades.
After a two-day deliberation, Duncan Keith has been suspended for 5 Shana-games. (The NHL’s equivalent of Disney Dollars. They’re like NHL regular-season games, but effectively worthless.) Let’s let Shanahan take us through the decision:
I like the way Shanahan stresses that a look at Keith’s “SUPPLEMENTAL DISCIPLINE RECORD” includes no suspensions. Normally, he uses the phrase “not a repeat offender,” somewhere in these videos, but detractors would have picked that phrase apart because Keith is a repeat offender, even if his record doesn’t reflect that. Previous hits to Matt Cooke and Ruslan Salei would have drawn suspensions under this regime. But, since the statue of limitations has long since run out on those hits, they’re neither here nor there, a point Shanahan made with some deliberate word selection. Effectively, he was saying, According to this sheet of past offences, which is the only thing we look at, Internet, Keith is a relatively clean player.
Anyway. I’m a bit shocked that this video is so simple. There’s nothing on Daniel Sedin’s hit prior to the incident. There’s nothing on the allegations that Keith was following through on a threat?
Well, almost nothing. Shanahan makes sure to mention that this thread was at least investigated:
“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.”
But, a passing mention aside, it’s clear that the Department chose to ignore all the stuff surrounding the elbow, and I would have liked for them to explain why.
Not that it’s too difficult to figure out. Like I said yesterday, Daniel Sedin’s hit in the corner has been drastically overblown, mainly by Chicagoans looking to justify Keith’s unjustifiable actions, and by Vancouverites looking to prove they aren’t homers. I’ll take Shanahan’s silence as a sign that he agrees, but I would have liked some closure on the issue.
Additionally, there’s simply no way you can take Henrik Sedin’s allegations of a threat at face value unless it’s been backed up by an unbiased third party. Again, the silence speaks, but speaking tends to speak better.
Shanahan’s preseason promise for more transparency is completely void if he doesn’t show his work.
(On the bright side, he took the time to explain elbowing, so there’s that.)
In short, intent, history and politics thrown out, what we have here is a hit viewed in a vacuum. In that sense, the suspension is relatively consistent with suspensions that have come before it.
Of course, I remain convinced that Keith’s hit deserves a stiffer sentence because it was predatory, not instinctive, and I would hazard a guess that the Department feels the same way. But, since there’s simply no concrete evidence to that end, there’s nothing else that could be done without taking a very bold stance.
And, considering a dirty, dangerous, reckless elbow merits only a five-game suspension, it’s clear that bold stances aren’t something they’re particularly good at.Tags: Blackhawks, Daniel Sedin, duncan keith, shanabans, the department of player safety