Hawks’ Keith treats all reporters the same after losses

First off, let me say I don’t believe Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith to be sexist, and I’ve known him for almost 10 years.

Keith got himself in hot water following Monday’s 3-1 loss to the Canucks when he was questioned by Karen Thomson, a radio reporter for Team 1040 in Vancouver, about Daniel Sedin’s third goal.

Thomson wanted to know if Keith thought he got away with a slash on Sedin before the winger scored. (Actually, it would have been a delayed penalty had Sedin not scored).

The following exchange was recorded by the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc.

Thomson: “Can you talk about what happened after the Daniel Sedin goal?”

Keith: “Which one was that one?

Thomson: “The third goal.”

Keith: “The third one? Well, we scored 1 goal after that I think, and the game ended 3-1.”

Thomson: “Right after the goal when you were on the ice with Daniel. Right after he scored. You remember?”

Keith: “I went off the ice and took a minus. I don’t know. What are you talking about?”

Thomson: “Nothing. Just checking.”

Keith: “What did you see?”

Thomson: “It looked like maybe there was a penalty that went undetected. You seemed a bit frustrated.”

Keith: “Oh, no. I don’t think there was anything. I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as a ref maybe, eh?”

Thomson: “Yeah, maybe.”

Keith: The first female … ”

Thomson: “I can’t skate, though.”

Keith: “The first female referee. You can’t play probably either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it? OK, see ya.”

Why Keith had to bring gender into it, only he knows, but I do know this: Keith can be the grumpiest of Hawks after a loss and is in no mood for dumb questions from anyone, male or female.

I’ve seen Keith treat male reporters just as tough after games. You better be prepared with the right questions when you approach Keith after a loss or face what happened to Thomson.

Should Keith be fined or even suspended for what happened, as some have suggested? Certainly Keith should not be suspended, but a small fine could be in order to serve as a reminder to all players that bringing up a person’s gender will not be tolerated.

I’ve seen Keith work with female reporters in Chicago for years without incident from Tracey Myers to Peggy Kusinski to Kerry Sayers to Sarah Kustok to Susannah Collins. He has treated them with respect and courtesy, never once questioning their knowledge of the game.

Thomson sounded proud of herself when she tweeted following Monday’s game: “So I think my exchange with Duncan Keith is renewing the #Canucks #Blackhawks rivalry! #heldmyown.”

Later Tuesday, Thomson tweeted again: “Hockey is an emotional game and things are often said in the heat of the moment. I think this is what happened last night. I’ve moved on.”

The Hawks, meanwhile, had no comment on the incident and have no plans to do so.

ŸFollow Tim’s hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at

Blackhawks game day

Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place, 8:30 p.m.

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Radio: WGN 720-AM

The skinny: The Oilers have lost eight of nine to plummet from eighth in the Western Conference to 13th in the standings. They have the longest playoff drought in the NHL at seven years but will at least have another high draft pick. They fired GM Steve Tambellini last week and replaced him with Craig MacTavish, the former Wolves coach. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder) and Ales Hemsky (foot) are out.

Season series: Tied 1-1

Next: Calgary Flames at the United Center, 7:30 p.m. Friday

— Tim Sassone

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