Kadri eight-game suspension upheld by Commissioner Bettman

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Nazem Kadri had the appeal of his eight-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety denied by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday.

The Colorado Avalanche forward was suspended May 21 for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Ball Arena in Denver on May 19.

Kadri appealed the suspension and had a Zoom hearing with Commissioner Bettman on Thursday. He has the option to file an appeal with an independent arbitrator under the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

 

[RELATED: Commissioner Bettman’s Decision to Uphold Kadri Suspension]

 

Kadri served three games of the suspension in Games 3 and 4 against the Blues and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Second Round against the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday. He would be eligible to return for Game 7 against Vegas, if the series goes that long.

If the term of the suspension is not fully served during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the remaining games will be served at the beginning of the 2021-22 regular season.

“The eight games, I’m a little surprised to be honest with you,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said when the suspension was announced. “I looked through all the headshot suspensions for the last year. A lot of two-gamers get handed out that were significant hits to the head. We’ve had some guys put out with hits to the head that you know are still out with no suspension and two games.

“So I thought, generally the rule of thumb, in playoffs, you get a little less, and he got significantly more, so it is what it is. We have to deal with it and we need other guys to step up and I’m not going to worry about it past today. We have to live with the decisions [NHL Player Safety] make and they make them for a reason. We don’t always have to agree when it’s their decision and you’ve got to live with it.”

The incident occurred with 13:34 remaining in the third period. Kadri was given a match penalty at 6:30.

Faulk, who did not return in Game 2, did not play in the final two games of the series.

This is the third time Kadri has been suspended in the postseason. When playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was suspended three games for boarding Boston Bruins forward Tommy Wingels in Game 1 of the 2018 Eastern Conference First Round. He also was suspended for the remainder of the 2019 first round for cross-checking Boston forward Jake DeBrusk in Game 2; the Bruins on the series in seven games.

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