The NHL suspended Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith for five games on Friday for his elbow to the head of Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin.
Keith lunged at Sedin in the neutral zone 13:36 into the first period of Chicago's 2-1 overtime win Wednesday, striking the Swede in the head when he didn't have the puck.
Longest suspensions of 2011-12 season
*Number of games, and amount of US salary forfeited
- Andy Sutton, Oilers, 8 ($207,317.04)
- James Wisniewski, Blue Jackets, 8 ($536,585.36)
- Dan Carcillo, Blackhawks, 7 ($66,158.54)
- J-F Jacques, Ducks, 5 ($17,567.55)
- Brad Staubitz, Wild, 5 ($9,324.33)
- Jody Shelley, Flyers, 5 ($67,073.15)
- Andy Sutton, Oilers, 5 ($57,432.45)
- Patrick Kaleta, Sabres, 5 ($19,261.64)
- Rene Bourque, Flames, 5 ($203,252.05)
- Brad Marchand, Bruins, 5 ($152,439.02)
Total number of games missed for suspensions this season — 122 games
Total amount of forfeited salary — $2,114,259.41
— Kacie Hollins, CBCSports.ca
"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," said NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan in a statement.
"We've also taken into consideration Keith's supplemental discipline record which includes no suspensions and one fine over nearly seven NHL seasons."
Sedin initially came right back out to participate in the power play with Keith in the penalty box, left for the dressing room shortly thereafter and did not return.
Sedin returned to Vancouver on Thursday to be examined and treated for the head injury. Sedin missed his team's victory that night over the Dallas Stars, and will remain in Vancouver while the Canucks travel to Colorado to take on the Avalanche on Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m PT).
There is no word yet on when Sedin will return to play, and the team says an update on his condition is not expected today.
Chicago has seven games remaining on their schedule. Keith will be eligible to return April 5 in Minnesota.
Keith also forfeits just under $150,000 US in salary.