It was announced on Monday, May 31 that Colorado Avalanche Forward Nazem Kadri will serve his entire eight-game suspension for the illegal head check that occurred on May 19 when the Avalanche played the St. Louis Blues in Denver.
Kadri Suspension Stands: Illegal Head Check
He served the first two games of that suspension when the Avalanche swept the Blues 4-0 in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And last night during the first game of the Avs series against the Vegas Golden Knights, he sat out again.
With three games down and five games to go, he may play in the final game of the series against the Knights but it all depends on who plays better on the ice. If his suspension is not completed during the playoffs any remaining games that are left will be played at the beginning of the next season.
As you may recall, 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 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.
Kadri appealed his suspension by video hearing but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman held true to his word and said that Kadri will serve out the entire suspension. Despite the fact that Kadri was the only Avalanche player to suit up for all fifty-six games of the season he has a history of violence that will no longer be overlooked.
It appears that by having Kadri sit out the entire eight games Bettman is sending a message to other players in the NHL that despite how well a player plays the game, this type of reckless behavior will not be tolerated.
Hopefully, while Ryan Reaves sits out his two games he’ll pay attention to Bettmans’ ruling against Kadri. The Vegas Golden Knights right winger received two games for his play against Avalanches’ Ryan Graves. During Sunday’s game Reaves threw Graves to the ice and then knelt on his head.
Reaves was cited for a match penalty and the “intent to injure.” The NHL then said it was roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct.
This is Kadri’s sixth suspension while playing for the NHL. He was last suspended in 2019 when he was playing for Toronto, also during 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.
Longest Suspension This Year In The NHL
Kadri’s suspension this year is the longest suspension to be handed down this shortened season and it’s now even longer than the seven games that Washington Nationals’ Tom Wilson got for hitting Boston Bruins’ player Brandon Carlo.
Despite the fact that Kadri is out for now, that didn’t seem to affect how the Avalanche played in Game #1 of the series against the Knights. They beat them 7-1 at Ball Arena in Denver. Game two takes place on Wednesday night with the Avalanche once again playing host to the Knights.