The Toronto Maple Leafs will not have Nazem Kadri for the remainder of their Round 1 series against the Boston Bruins.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Monday evening, less than an hour before puck drop of Game 3 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN; Live stream), that Kadri has been suspended for the remainder of the series for a cross-checking incident that took place late in Game 2 of the series.
That means Kadri’s suspension will be a minimum of three games and a maximum of five games.
Here is the NHL’s entire video, the explanation, and the play itself.
This is the second year in a row Kadri has been suspended in a postseason series between the two teams after earning a three-game banishment a year ago for boarding Tommy Wingels.
In this incident, Kadri was ejected for cross-checking Boston’s Jake DeBrusk in the head immediately after DeBrusk had hit Patrick Marleau into the turnbuckle. It was clearly a retaliation from that hit. Kadri and DeBrusk were also involved in an incident earlier in the game when Kadri had to briefly leave the game following an open-ice collision.
As the NHL states in its suspension video: “This is not a hockey play. Instead, this is a player retaliating against an opponent by using his stick as a weapon to make forceful and direct head contact.”
Also: “While we understand Kadri took offense to DeBrusk’s hit against Marleau, players are simply not permitted to flagrantly violate league playing rules because they feel that retribution is justified.”
Kadri’s disciplinary history, including four suspensions and a fine, certainly played into the severity of the punishment.