Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith has been suspended for the final five games of the regular season plus one in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for his violent stick swing at the face of Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle.
NHL disciplinarian Stephane Quintal and his team deemed there was calculated intent as Keith wound up, and he whipped his stick "dangerously and violently" directly at the face of Coyle.
Quintal also pointed out that Coyle having tripped Keith, perhaps illegally, was "irrelevant" in scrutinizing the defenseman's actions.
By rule, Keith was not considered a repeat offender, but the NHL did note that he's been suspended twice previously, and once for a similar incident.
The Conn Smythe Trophy winner from last summer will be eligible to return to the Blackhawks lineup in Game 2 of their first-round series.
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