Blackhawks D Keith suspended five games

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was suspended for five games without pay by the National Hockey League on Friday.

Keith was given a minor for elbowing Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin in the head late in the first period of a 2-1 overtime win by Chicago on Wednesday at United Center.

"Keith quickly pivots when he sees Sedin stop and moves up to close the gap on the Vancouver player. As Sedin turns up ice, Keith extends his elbow, striking Sedin in the face," explained NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan during a video review of the incident.

"Regardless of Keith's assertion that the intent on this play was to impede Sedin's progress as opposed to retaliation for an earlier hit, Keith's hit was still dangerous, reckless and caused injury. We've also taken into consideration Keith's supplemental discipline and prior record, which includes no suspensions and one fine over seven NHL seasons."

The 28-year-old will forfeit $149,688.15 in salary, which automatically goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. He will not be eligible to return until Chicago's second-to-last game of the regular season, at Minnesota, on April 5.