Monday, March 26, 2012

Keith suspension has NHL observers talking

Depending on your perspective (and perhaps which team you cheer for) Brendan Shanahan is either

A: as wise as Judge Judy in the quest for true justice,

B: Doing the best he can under trying conditions or

C: more than ready to take a place on the bench in Manitoba.

Such is the range of commentary on his decision of last week on the amount of time Duncan Keith will sit out after his missile like elbow to Daniel Sedin's head on Wednesday night.

Incredibly, (well maybe not now that we think of it) the topic even intruded into British Columbia's always entertaining political scene (though perhaps Premier Christy Clark should really concentrate on other matters at the moment).

As most hockey followers know by now Keith was assessed a five game suspension for his offence, which will take him almost to the end of the regular season before he can step back onto the ice on behalf of the Blackhawks.

The hit which was a nasty bit of work, came as part of the renewal of acquaintances between the Hawks and the Canucks, an event that was advertised by TSN as a game where emotions could run high.

If nothing else, the two teams at least provided some truth in advertising for TSN, though clearly when players end up injured to the point where their return is not yet known, perhaps things got a little out of hand.

Indeed, some suggest (among them Alain Vigneault of the Canucks) that the officiating on Wednesday set the tone of how the game evolved, a previous hit by Sedin on Keith, which as they say rode a little high, did not get a call, so the theory goes it was open season on hitting whether fair or foul.

At any rate, Justice Shanahan weighed the evidence, pondered the possibilities and came up with five games for Keith, available to the Hawks should they need some desperation points in the final few games of the season and on to the playoffs.

No word has been issued from Vancouver as to the state of health of Daniel Sedin, he too for the moment unavailable for the final flurry of games to bring down the curtain on the regular season.

The cause of taking head shots out of the game once again comes to the top of the conversation list for the NHL, a message that seemingly doesn't resonate with the players, as the head shots continue and the players are sidelined, though this time a star player is out of the line up when he's most needed most and just prior to the showcase of the NHL the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Still perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that despite his efforts, the players aren't getting the message, after all the NHL's own website,  not to mention players across the league recently championed the "staged fight" between the Rangers and Devils at puck drop at the Garden.

It's really no wonder, that no one, players, officials or fans is getting the message.

Globe and Mail-- Why the NHL's suspension of Duncan Keith was predictable
Globe and Mail-- Shanahan's ruling on Keith a big deal
National Post-- Brendan Shanahan stays the course, passes test with Keith ruling
Chicago Sun Times-- Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith: :"I"ll serve my time"
Chicago Tribune-- Blackhawks' Keith calls suspension 'fair'
Vancouver Province-- Canuck Henrik Sedin calls for tougher in game penalties on hard hits
Vancouver Province-- Daniel Sedin's injury more pressing than Duncan Keith's suspension for elbow hit
Vancouver Province-- Vicious Duncan Keith elbow hit sends Daniel Sedin to Vancouver specialist
Vancouver Sun-- Duncan Keith suspended five NHL games, but how many will Canucks victim...
Vancouver Sun-- NHL hits 'reckless' Keith with five games
Vancouver Sun-- Duncan Keith's NHL suspension: What they're saying
Vancouver Sun-- Canuck's Daniel Sedin vs. Blackhawks' Duncan Keith What they're saying
Vancouver Sun-- Duncan Keith will be suspended; he should be suspended for longer
Montreal Gazette-- Violence is getting worse, not better
New York Post-- Shanahan too lenient on Keith Suspension
ESPN-- Does Keith's punishment fit the crime?
ESPN-- Keith gets a heavy-handed punishment
ESPN-- Keith's hit fuels Hawks-Canucks rivalry
CBC-- There is no joy in Vancouver with Keith's suspension

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