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Morning Skate: It's time for the NHL to send Duncan Keith a stern message

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He's crossed the line one too many times.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

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Lace 'em up. Time for the Morning Skate.

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VERY GOOD PLAYER DOING VERY BAD THINGS

So last night Duncan Keith swung his stick at an opponent's face. I don't think I'm being glib there; that's literally what he did.

If that sentence strikes you as familiar somehow, it should. Keith is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NHL and the backbone of the Blackhawks' three Stanley Cups in the last six years. But he's also one of the more under-the-radar dirty players in the league.

Personally, I felt like I knew this already but had a hard time pointing out specific instances of Keith crossing the line. Luckily an intrepid Twitter user compiled his "greatest hits" for us to browse through. In no specific order:

That's not even including that time he made a seemingly sexist remark to a female reporter or allegedly (but probably) mocked David Backes after he was concussed by Brent Seabrook.

I know I'll catch heat from Blackhawks fans for even bringing these up. But I don't do it just to point and accuse and disparage. I think it's relevant and important. Keith is a world-class player for the most high-profile team in the NHL. He is a name for casual fans to recognize, and therefore he helps set an example for the sport. In that context, his repeated line-crossings aren't acceptable. But for some reason the spotlight doesn't sit on his reputation for long after these things happen.

So maybe it should this time. Let it linger long enough for us fans (and, more importantly, the league) to wonder whether that's the face of the sport we want to Keith keep presenting or if this is the time to send a clear message that it isn't.

AND NOW, A TEASE

In case you missed it, the unsealed emails from the NHL's concussion lawsuit dripped out onto the Internet last night. Stay tuned to SBN today as we sift through all 300 of them for you and bring you the highlights! (Spoiler: They are juicy as heck.)

WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT

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