When Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith elbowed Vancouver forward Daniel Sedin in the head on Wednesday night, it seemed that a talk with Brendan Shanahan was likely not far behind.
It looks like that talk will be sometime Friday. But exactly how this conversation will go down is suddenly up for debate.
Several Canadian outlets reported early Thursday that Keith would have a phone hearing with Shanahan around 1 p.m. CT on Friday to determine his punishment for that elbow. But late Thursday night, Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet Cable Television in Canada reported that the NHL asked Keith to waive his right to an in-person hearing for the hit.
If Keiths hearing is over the phone, it means he would be suspended five or fewer games. But if its an in-person hearing, the punishment will be more than five games.
Why this situation suddenly changed is unknown. Keith has never been suspended in his career, but the NHL is trying to crack down on blows to the head. The Canucks were irate that the elbow drew only a two-minute minor penalty in Wednesdays game. Daniels brother, Henrik, insinuated that Keith told Daniel he would get him back for an earlier hit in the game Daniel had a high shoulder hit on Keith prior to Keiths elbow.
As for Daniel Sedin, the Vancouver Sun reports that he flew to Dallas with the team after the game on Wednesday but traveled back to Vancouver Thursday for further evaluation. Coach Alain Vigneault told Vancouver media he didnt know what Sedins status was.
There will be some resolution to all of this on Friday. Either way, the Blackhawks will likely be missing their top defenseman for a bit during this stretch run.