The Chicago Blackhawk conspiracy theory began on the eve of Halloween at the old Chicago Stadium in 1983. Tom Lysiak, a good player in the early 80’s, was getting thrown out of every face off circle during the contest against the Hartford Whalers. Even though he was a good player, Lysiak had a dirty streak in him. In his frustration of continually being thrown out of face-offs, he poorly decided to take out his frustration on the linesman that night, Ron Foyt.
When the puck was dropped for the face-off Lysiak did the only non hockey action that was possible after the face-off. He tripped linesman Ron Foyt to the ice on his behind. Foyt was not injured by the incident, but Lysiak was immediately tossed from the game (a 6-1 victory by the Hawks). Lysiak than was given, an unheard of at the time, a 20 game suspension.
The embarrassment of the act, along with Lysiak taking the supension to Cook County court system, created since the incident that there is a NHL conspiracy against the Chicago Blackhawks in every game with officiating, and any case that is heard by NHL headquarters. Even in the same era, the conspiracy seemed real. Two incidents involving referree’s were not met so severly. Paul Holmgren punched Andy Van Hellemond in 1981, and only received a 5 game suspension and $500 fine. Terry O’Reily also hit Van Hellemond in a playoff game and received a 10 game suspension. Nobody must have liked Van Hellemond in that era?!?!
Fast forward to 2012, and the conspiracy theory could be back in full effect! Duncan Keith with no prior displinary action in his career, according to multiple reports, has been called to the principals office….errrr the NHL Office to answer questions about his elbow to Daniel Sedin Wednesday night. At first he was suppose to just get the phone call from the league office which would indicate a short suspension.
Getting the call to appear in front of the league office suggests that Keith could be hit with a long suspension of 5 games or more. His hit was premeditated and unneccessary! It was extremely dumb especially in the middle of the ice with the puck 20 feet in the air. Keith deserves to sit a couple games, with no previous detentions though,I don’t believe he deserves a long suspension. It was an act of retaliation where the hit against him wasn’t penalized or will be reviewed. One thing anyone knows from playing or watching sports, the person retaliating will always be caught and usually is doing it in a manner that is extremely worse than the original act.
The Hawks are in the midst of their best stretch of the season going 9-1-1 since the trade deadline. The former Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith is the key defensman for the Hawks and is third in the entire NHL in Time on Ice this season with 1,936 minutes on ice. It will be a huge hole to fill not only in his ablility, but time on the ice for Coach Quenville no matter how many games he misses. No time is a good time for a suspension of your defensive leader, but heading into the last 7 games with huge playoff implications every night, Keith could not have picked a worse time to make the stupidest play of his career!
No first time offender has received more than 5 games for any offense during Brendan Shanahan’s regime as NHL principal. If he gives Keith more than 5 games after his hearing, the video will be interesting to watch, but the Chicago Blackhawk conspiracy theorists will have more examples of why the NHL is out to get the Hawks! Let’s hope that his clean record will get Keith only a 2 game suspension which he deserves and no more!!!
Lets go HAWKS!!