Nazem Kadri Appeals Illegal Check To Head

Colorado Avalanche Forward Nazem Kadri is set to appeal his eight game suspension on Thursday, May 27 for an illegal head check that occurred on May 19 when the Avalanche played the St. Louis Blues in Denver. 

The hit occurred at six minutes and thirty seconds into the third period of Game 2 when Justin Faulk shot the puck on the Avalanche goal. Kadri then cut across in front of Faulk and it appeared as though he deliberately made contact with Faulk’s head. 

After Faulk was hit by Nazem Kadri he collapsed to the ice and he appeared to be unconscious. He was attended to by St. Louis Blues training staff and was able to skate from the ice on his own but he did not return to the game. As Faulk was being tended to, Kadri was issued a five minute major and he was ejected from the game. The Avs went on to win that game 6-3 before later sweeping the Blues 4-0. 

Nazem Kadri will appeal his suspension by video hearing with NHL officials and until a decision is made he is out indefinitely.  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that if Kadri is unhappy with the ruling he could find an arbitrator on his own to act as a neutral party. He’s served two games of his suspension already and he’ll serve the remaining six as the Avalanche advance in the playoffs. 

Blues forward Brayden Schenn had this to say about what happened to his teammate. 

“A guy like Kadri…the guy can’t control himself. In the playoffs he’s a repeat offender.” 

In other words, the NHL shouldn’t be soft on the Avalanche forward who for some reason likes to go for the head when he loses control of his emotions. 

Who the Avalanche will face off against in round two has yet to be determined. The NHL will announce the schedule at a later date but it looks as though Kadri will miss most, if not nearly all of the second round. 

History Of Violence 

Kadri has only been with the Avs for 18 months now and up until this point he hasn’t shown much of a temper up but apparently past aggressions and suspensions were a contributing factor to his eight games on the bench. 

His last punishment happened in 2019 when he was playing for Toronto, while also playing in the playoffs. According to the NHL Department of Safety even if a player isn’t deemed as someone who is a repeat offender’ his past history as a player may play a part in determining the length of future discipline. 

While Kadri was with the Mapleleafs he was suspended on five separate occasions:

November 2013–Three games for interference

March 2015–Four games for an illegal check to the head

April 2016–Four games for a cross-check

April 2018 (Playoffs)–Three games for boarding

April 2019–Five games for a cross-check

Longest Suspension This Year In The NHL

Kadri’s suspension this year is the longest suspension to be handed down throughout this shortened season and the longest since 2013. That year Raffi Torres of the San Jose Sharks was suspended for six games for a head shot to Los Angeles’ Kings player Jarret Stoll

If the suspension stands it will also be longer than the seven games that Washington Nationals’ Tom Wilson got for hitting Boston Bruins’ player Brandon Carlo.

What’s done is done and for now, Kadri will take a time out. Hopefully, his behavior won’t affect the outcome of the second round of the playoffs but if they do his actions will surely speak louder than his words.

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