It's been speculated about since the moment of impact...but today, Brendan Shanahan ruled. Duncan Keith will miss the next five Blackhawk games (vs Nashville, @ New Jersey, vs St. Louis, @ Nashville, vs Minnesota) for his elbow on Vancouver's Daniel Sedin.
At the time of the hit, my initial thought was two games...but as the week went on, it started to look bad for Keith. I'm actually surprised that he got off this easily. I fully expected seven games.
It was a dirty, reckless, inexcusable hit. Yes, I'm aware that Sedin shouldered Keith in the face earlier in the game. To me, that doesn't matter, and doesn't justify Keith's actions. With that said, I do think five games is a bit excessive, but nothing that's going to get me overly upset. The NHL is trying to put a stop to these types of hits. When two high profile players like Keith and Sedin are involved, there is that much more attention put on the play and eventual suspension. Had this been, say Andrew Shaw elbowing Andrew Alberts, I don't think the suspension would have been as severe. The league is making an example of Keith, right or wrong.
Keith is eligible to return for the Blackhawks' final two games of the season (vs Minnesota and @Detroit). Maybe this will be a blessing for him. He leads the league in average ice time per game...26:53. A week or so off right before the playoffs could work wonders for him.