NHL could throw the book at repeat offender Duncan Keith

Watch as Duncan Keith viciously swings stick at Charlie Coyle resulting in Coyle being cut and Keith being ejected.

Duncan Keith doesn’t have the reputation of being a dirty player.

The two-time Norris Trophy winner is perhaps the most elegant skater in the NHL and widely respected by his peers. However, there’s no doubting the Chicago Blackhawks blueliner has been at fault in a handful of dirty plays in recent years.

His most recent lapse in judgment occurred Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild when he flagrantly swung his stick at the face of Charlie Coyle in retaliation to being hit to the ice.

Keith received a match penalty midway through the first period of a 4-1 loss. The NHL’s department of player safety will review the play and it would be a shock if he wasn’t suspended.

It certainly won’t be the first time Keith will have dealt with supplemental discipline.

In 2012, Keith was assessed a five-game suspension for a brazen elbow to the head of Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin.

More relevant to the Coyle play is what Keith did in 2013. During Game three of the Western Conference final against the Los Angeles Kings, Keith got one game for this retaliatory high stick to the face of Jeff Carter.

When you watch Keith’s stick smash the nose of Coyle, who managed to return to the game, the play itself seems to warrant a suspension. When you take into consideration the two previous times Keith was suspended, Keith could have the book thrown at him — even with the post-season approaching.