Skip to content

NHL suspends Duncan Keith one game for slash

Jun 5, 2013, 7:03 PM EDT

The NHL decided to hand Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith a one-game suspension for his slash on Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter. Brendan Shanahan shares the league’s reasoning:

Shanahan says the high-sticking infraction isn’t accidental or defensive, calling the move “retaliatory.”

The play initially resulted in a double-minor penalty for high-sticking.

Carter reportedly needed about 20 stitches to close up the wound and damaged some teeth from that high-sticking infraction. Keith, 29, tried to apologize to Carter, 28, according to USA Today.

This isn’t the first time the Blackhawks defenseman has gotten in trouble with the league. Keith received a five-game suspension for elbowing Daniel Sedin in March 2012.

Carter admitted that taking Keith out of Chicago’s lineup represents a “huge loss” for the Blackhawks.

Here’s a screen shot of the incident:


SBNation also captured the moment in GIF form:


  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Not surprising. He didn’t mean to do it but he is accountable for his stick. Big loss for the Hawks.

    • sabatimus - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Didn’t mean to do it. Yeah right.

    • sabatimus - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      This was the very definition of an intentional high stick. Given the stitches and dental work Keith should’ve gotten 3 games.

      • wmbhockey - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:50 AM

        Well actually, if it was intentional as you say, by definition the Ref blew that call and should have given Keith a “match” penalty. However, the Ref actually saw what we saw; that Carter slashed Keith, Keith retaliated (which Shanahan is in agreement) and Keith did more damage than Carter. Carter was low enough that when Keith retaliated with a slash, Carter got hit in the head. Carter/Kings get another break in the playoffs from Shanahan and the Refs. If Shanahan truly wanted to improve player safety, he would have the Refs call the penalties during the playoffs the same way they call penalties during the regular season!

    • rje49 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      As a Bruin’s fan, I’m in neutral territory with this one, What I see is Carter looking straight ahead, carrying his stick in a normal position, when he made his “slash”. I can’t even say he is aware of Keith’s hand and glove being down near his stick. Maybe out of the corner of his eye, but I can’t tell that.

  2. manchestermiracle - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Looking at that screen shot I’m immediately reminded of one of the apologist’s posts claiming Keith was bent over and blindly retaliating. Looks to me like he’s standing straight up and well aware of his intended target area.

    I would prefer both teams be at full strength so we don’t have to hear any crap about being short-handed, but I can’t fault the league for this suspension. Despite Carter’s cheap hand-slash, Keith’s response was ill-advised and irresponsible.

    • polegojim - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      Ridiculous that we have the video… and saw Carters chop… and he gets nothing.

      With that line of reasoning… a High stick or a low Chop shot to the hands are BOTH using the stick inappropriately and should merit the same. Why should the ‘first’ guy get away clean???

      If we’re going to play it that way… retaliation should NOT be the predicating factor… intent should be.

      • alexbaymac - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        No, No, NO! Don’t you understand? The NHL REWARDS cheap shots; they only punish you if you finally snap & actually retaliate. Makes perfect sense to me…explains why Toews got the penalty last game; his face was retaliating against the fists that kept hitting it.
        At least this will negate the excuses from LA fans & make the Hawk’s wins all the sweeter.

      • polegojim - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        Exactly Alex… that IS the message… just don’t be second… but if you’re FIRST… it’s all good.

      • nicwel - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        Carters “chop” was simply putting his stick on Keith’s glove so he couldn’t pick it up. All he was doing was baiting Keith into doing something stupid…and would you look at that? It worked.

      • polegojim - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        NICWEL… easy to say… since he MISSED his hand… but the intent could still be seen.

      • ron05342 - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM


        You are a moron.

        With that out of the way, let me correct you on a couple of points: L.A. fans aren’t making any excuses. We don’t have to. The Kings are the defending Stanley Cup champs and whether you like it or not, this is now a series.

        If you are going to use an apostrophe to makes “Hawks” plural, the apostrophe goes after the s, not before. Otherwise you have a 1-man team.

      • polegojim - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        Actually Alex is right about the ‘cheap shot’ comment…

        Now re the Kings… I’m rooting for the Hawks…

      • salmon90 - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:34 AM

        I feel like I’m missing something here. Is the preceding slash by Carter that everyone is talking about the one shown in the ‘gif’ above? If so, are you kidding me!! PLease tell me there was a slash beforehand that prompted Keith to go all Brashear. Like Keith is justified for smashing someone face for 20 stitches or that Carter should have gotten punished alongside him. I’ve seen homerism but this is absurd – correct me if there’s something I’ve missed. And no I don’t like either team so no rooting interest.

  3. hawkeedawg - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    For all of you that said this was not a “suspension” worthy hit last night on PHT…I told you it was because he was a repeat offender, NHL got it right for once.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      Repeat offender status should only influence the length of a suspension, not whether or not a hit is suspendable. Everyone seems to think this deserved one game so in theory Keith should have gotten more. Makes no sense however you look at it.

  4. broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Shanahan should just quit. he has zero credibility. Why wasn’t Carts suspended for trying to break Keith’s hand? I guess not they ONLY punish the injury and damage not the intent.

    • mehetmet - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:25 AM

      ” I guess not they ONLY punish the injury and damage not the intent.”

      you’re just figuring this out now?

  5. pirovash88 - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Like i said before, this was no accident. Well deserved for a classless act of retaliation. Maybe next time Keith will watch which way he swings his stick.

    • stakex - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      Its also classly to chop at a guys hand while he has no glove on….

    • no - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      I could see how you’d get confused, as “classless” and “jeff carter” often appear in the same sentence, but you are mistaken in this case

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:46 PM

        Hey! No! What do you have to say now?

        valoisjoeybfeld69 – Jun 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM
        Hmm! Accident….. that’s arguable. reckless… definitely. 1 game suspension for recklessly swinging his stick and for hitting an opponent in the face.

        no – Jun 5, 2013 at 5:50 PM
        by this criteria, 99% of players would be committing suspendable offenses each season

        at least my trolling isn’t blatantly idiotic.

  6. r8rbhawk - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Sheldon Brookbank makes his 2013 playoff debut?

  7. billsin20xx - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    OK, so a guy with a past suspension history purposely hits a guy in the head with a stick and gets one game, Torres hits a guy (his friend even) on a hit that could be argued either way and he gets 6 games?
    This is messed up!

    • no - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      you’re citing Keith’s one past suspension vs Torres’…what, 7?

      this doesn’t appear to contradict itself?

      perfect, you’ve passed the test to be a California sports fan!

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      And Torres is what, a classy gentleman on the ice??? Two very different players and exceedingly different circumstances. I think the “dept of player safety” is a joke, but judging by your remarks, so are you.

      • hammerhead5573 - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:41 PM

        Simply put, this is the dumbest comment out there. It is so easy to throw around repeat offender like Keith does this every 5 games. Keith did it one other time. And that time his head was drilled into the boards while his back was to the play, by a classless Cannuck who acted like nothing happened at all. Only then did he re-act. Torres seems to thrive on being a dirty player. There is no excusing what Keith did and some will say he deserved it while others will ay he didn’t. In the end he has to live with it and someone else has to step up, but to compare him to Torres is out of this world dumb.

  8. cfos00 - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Yep, Keith did get him in the face. Can’t really argue the suspension, but how about next time the ref standing about 10 feet away from the first penalty, the slash on Keith, actually call the blatant penalty? It wasn’t like Carter even tried to hide it. You’ll get a lot fewer retaliations and actions like this if you actually bother to call the first penalty, and that goes for all teams. Just because it’s playoff hockey doesn’t mean the refs put away the whistles on dirty plays that have nothing to do with the game.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:56 PM

      Probably because the official “didn’t see” the slash by Carter. You know, the same official that “didn’t see” the head shot Torres put on Hossa (despite looking directly at the play – video doesn’t lie). Gee, that’s the same official that waved off Hjalmarsson’s goal in game 7. Stephen Walkom….you need to retire (again).
      I do, however agree with the suspension for Keith – make a stupid decision, you pay the price.

      • cfos00 - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:12 PM

        How in the world does he keep getting their games?

  9. stakex - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    I can certainly see a suspension for that. He swung at the guys face after all.

    On the flip side, Carter took a nasty two hander at Keith’s back… and then tried to slash his bare hand. While he seems to have missed when he chopped at his hand, he could have broke it if he connected. That right there highlights a big problem with the NHL suspension system: If you intend to do something dirty and miss…. you’re never punished for it. Trying to chop a guys bare hand should be a suspension, but because Carter missed it gets ignored.

  10. killerpgh - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    So Pierre-Marc Bouchard had no history and gets 2 games for a somewhat similar unintentional whack ( )that hits a player in the Head causing stitches and dental work and Duncan Keith is considered a repeat offender but only gets 1 games. How does that make sense?

    • hawkeedawg - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM

      Regular season, maybe 3-5 games, playoffs, 1 game, not saying its right, just saying…

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      He’s a high-profile player on a marquee team… it makes perfect sense.

    • brothertrip - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      Shanny has said before that the importance of one playoff game equals the same importance as 2-3 regular season games, so thats why it is only 1 game in the playoffs

      • ray2013 - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM

        Maybe it’s just me, but I would have preferred Shanny treat them exactly the same. 2-3 game suspension. Maybe it submarines Chicago’s chances a bit, but maybe they can also use it to rally around, “Win it for Duncan”.

        If players know this type of incident can lead to 2-3 game suspension in the Playoffs, when it’s all on the line, we won’t see it anymore. Just like the NHL made their rules to eliminate bench-clearing brawls so severe, we don’t see them anymore, or the “third man in” rule. Penalties are high enough, players don’t “accidentally” lose control of their sticks.

  11. phillyphanatic77 - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Probably the right call. If the Kings can’t take advantage and tie up the series it would be a huge missed opportunity. It seemed like Keith didn’t come off the ice last night; he’s so valuable to the Hawks. Frankly I think they’re lucky it was only a game, but, then again, he’s a high-profile player on the President’s Trophy team.

  12. bcisleman - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Probably warranted although the slash to the hand deserves at least a minor as well. Apart from that, my main qualm would be with Shanny’s reasoning. If Shanny is saying this was retaliatory, he is also saying that it is intentional and that is the key…that this was a deliberate act.

  13. 950003cups - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Whether he meant to hurt him or not. He meant to swing his stick at Carter’s head. Bad move. League has to stand up to those on ice decisions by players. One game isn’t much for a repeat offender. He’s lucky it wasn’t 3.

  14. ashtongronholz8 - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    The mentality of a hockey player is much different than most. Chicago will win the next game both because they are pissed off at the call but also the Better team

  15. ags2500 - Jun 5, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Intentional? Completely……. Niklas Hjalmarsson game three on Franzen….. Hits him from behind and drops him like a sack of potatoes and no call and they score a goal. Keith deserves 3 but thank goodness chicago is such a marketable team. 1 game sounds right for a repeat offender, when Abdelkader put a clean hit on Lydman and his first offense is a 2 gamer. Yeah love Shanny but never thought his judgement is this bad or biased.

    • mb65dod - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      Let me guess. A Bitter Red Wings fan seeing only one side of the coin?

  16. sprtsfan1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Hard to fault the league on that one. This coming from a Hawks fan. Summary of game 3 for the Hawks. Dumb retaliation penalties = loss. That and the Kings flat out played better. Like they had something to lose.

  17. joeyg88 - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Carter should be suspended too

    • mb65dod - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      Maybe not suspended but he should have gotten minor.

  18. sjsharks66 - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Beware! If you play the Kings, someone from your team will be suspended on a terrible call!

  19. grumpyoleman - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    How Abdelkader got two games and Keith got only one befuddles me

    • jeffchadwick - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      At least in a case like the Abdelkader play (or even the Torres-Stoll situation), the suspended player was trying to make a hockey play. There’s absolutely zero room in the NHL for guys swinging their sticks at the heads of other players.

      • geauxshawx - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        But one game? Torres got “series” suspension!

  20. comeonnowguys - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    And Carter got nothing. No penalty. No nothing. Keystone cops.

  21. jhuck92 - Jun 5, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    I think being suspended one game is fair. He ‘Hawk defense will have to step up to fill the gap.

  22. ronthecubsfan - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Seems about right. Can’t let this stuff go or it will only get worse.

    Quit whining about Carter getting nothing. What he did isn’t suspension worthy, but what Keith did certainly is. You can’t go around swinging your stick like that.

    Like everyone involved said, it is what it is. Hawks will win without him. Or they won’t. Doesn’t really matter what anyone writes here.

  23. cubbiebeer - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    The fact that Shanahan called it retaliatory insinuates that Carter had gotten away with something he probably shouldn’t have. Keith definitely deserves the 1 game suspension because u have to be responsible for your stick. But, he obviously thought enough is enough after not only being cross-checked in the back and slashed across the bare hand but also having been hit in the face by a high-stick from Carter during a penalty kill in the 1st period that the referees conveniently missed as well. Hopefully the refs will have their eyes open a little wider for the rest of the series so the guys won’t feel the need to defend themselves against an onslaught of uncalled penalties!

    • geauxshawx - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:28 PM

      Not necessarily insinuates anything. Ever play the game? You can get checked clean and hard, and be pissed and retaliate.

  24. mikemj - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    I’m not surprised, Keith admitted it was retaliatory after the game.
    Anyone who thinks Abdelkader’s suspension wasn’t well deserved is simply incapable of being objective. I don’t think Abdelkader is a dirty player but that was absolutely a dirty hit.

  25. foleysfish - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    I love Hockey- to me it’s the best sport in the world. But I really dislike the NHL rulebook. They really have 0 credibility. There is no rule book it’s just what ever they want to decide that day. Have no problem with Keith being suspended but if they suspend both players because both tried to hurt the other with intent it would really stop that kind of stuff going on behind the play. But they let the guy that started the whole thing go because he didn’t cause any damage and because he got stitches and a tooth nocked out. It just makes no sense. If a player uses his stick to hit cross check another player it should be called. I love good physical hockey and hits but there are so many cross checks not called in a game it’s a joke. You put any elite player in front of the other teams net and watch what is let go. Then the player pushes back in the slightest bit and he gets dinged. Don’t care what they do if they called it the same for all players at least the NHL would have credibility.

    • wmbhockey - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:35 AM

      You are right on-Refs chose to call a different game in the playoffs!

  26. centraldutch - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Kings are using the “red wings strategy” against the Blackhawks: Slash, hold, take cheap shots. It worked for a while in the last series and is the only hope LA has in this one. ‘Hawks need to be smart and not get rattled like Sharp and Keith have (and
    Toews in the Detroit series). Just play solid hockey and let their talent win the games.

  27. kingsforever - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Cry me a river CentralDutch

  28. wmbhockey - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    So Shanahan agrees that Carter slashed Keith. Keith’s stick was not above his shoulder when he hit Carter and Carter was coming from a crouch so his head was lower than usual. Carter gets what he gets because he was stupid-he should have received two minutes for slashing. Shanahan just failed at trying to make something right out of two wrongs. SO the next time someone gets a high stick penalty and draws blood, they get an automatic 1 game suspension? Really? If Shanahan wants to improve player safety, have the Refs call the same penalties that they call during the season, during the playoffs!

    • jeffchadwick - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      There’s so much homerism in this post, I don’t know where to start. If one can’t see the difference between a run of the mill high sticking play – even a particularly brutal one like the Adam Foote-Yzerman play of several years back – and a guy intentionally swinging his stick at another player and striking him in the head, I’m not sure what to tell you.

    • geauxshawx - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      Uh, 20 stitches and dental work? That’s what he deserved???

  29. garrison1981 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:52 AM

    How does Shanny suspend Abby for 2 games for a check open ice but come here n suspend Keith for 1 game with a defenseless slash to the face! I know Carter came down at glove/hand(hit glove) but I also remember Mcsorley getting 20+ back in day! Not nearly as hard but come on! Hurting your legacy Brendon!!

  30. dpb1956 - Jun 6, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Talk about blowing it. First Keith was given 4 minutes for this? He should have been given a 5 minute major at least and ejected immediately for the remainder of the game for intentionally injuring and drawing blood. Keith’s stick was pointed directly at Carter’s eyes, it’s lucky he wasn’t blinded. This was an accident about as much as a mob hit. You can see from the angle from more in front Keith was rolling his arm and intentionally going after Carter’s head. And then on top of it a one game suspension? It did happen very quickly but a one game suspension is a joke. The NHL is one small step away from Rollerball.

  31. mikeinindy - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    We all have to remember that Shanahan is first and foremost a wing. Period. And will take any and every opportunity to stick it to their rivals. Doesn’t matter that Carter or Brown are filling the ice with dirty plays.

    For those of you in the East, just wait til next year when someone like Malkin gets a couple of games for touching a wing, or right before the Pens play the wings.

    BTW, not really a Hawks fan — actually just hate the wings.

  32. florida727 - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    I’m a Hawks fan and actually I have no problem with this suspension. Yeah, I know, Carter did something first and all Keith did was retaliate, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, you play with aggression but you control your personal emotions for the good of the team. Keith put his team in a bad spot then with the 4-minute penalty, and now in an even worse spot by getting suspended. For those complaining about Shanahan, all Keith has to do is turn the proverbial other cheek, and Shanahan has no one to suspend.

  33. duster011 - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Bad luck for Keith who apparently intended to hit him, but not in the face- He went out of his way to apologize several times.
    Pretty poor officiating since Carter first elbowed Keith in the face, tore the stick away, pulled his glove off and slashed his bare hand – and no call.
    This would tend to piss you off, but no excuse, just tough on the team

  34. blackhawks58 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Well, first off ….. I am I die hard Blackhawks
    Fan, that being said.
    The call on Dunkin mandatory even though
    Jeff Carter two handed him across the back
    ( which only a few seem to get )
    And he continued to try to crack Keith on
    The wrist and the only thing that seemed to
    Stop him was a slap in the puss.
    There are a lot more calls that the refs need to
    Be calling to stop the Players from thinking
    That they need to take matters into their
    Own hands. Dustin Brown has been
    A butthole this whole series.
    I’m sure that Keith didn’t mean to cause
    Serious injury to Carter and I can’t justify
    Him even going that high up on another
    Player….. But if the refs would have got the
    Call right in the first place, Keith’s slash would
    Never have happened and Carter would have
    Been in the box,
    THE REF’S JUST SUCK! And the players
    Are left to fight for themselves ……
    I love Hockey the Greatest Sport ever
    But there is no room for type of play, where
    The sticks become weapons and in all my
    Years as a Fan and a Player I have never
    Seen as many cross checks just let go
    By the ref’s
    That’s why you have Hands and Hips
    To check your rival and settle the disagreements
    Like a man…..
    “Go Hawks”

  35. geauxshawx - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    One game? A game that the Hawx are probably gonna loose anyway? Torres got the unheard of “series suspension”! Shanty’s gotta go!

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1388)
  2. P. Kane (1277)
  3. S. Matthias (1155)
  4. M. Zuccarello (1082)
  5. D. Carcillo (1079)