[UPDATE: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld Kadri’s eight-game suspension following an appeal.]
The NHL suspended Nazem Kadri 8 games for his hit on Justin Faulk. Kadri’s suspension began with Colorado’s 5-1 Game 3 of win over the Blues Friday night.
Note that, if the Avalanche are eliminated within those 8 games, then Nazem Kadri’s remaining suspension will carry over to the 2021-22 regular season.
This marks the third playoff suspension for Nazem Kadri in the past four seasons — all in First Round series. It would be difficult for any other player to replicate this pace, as that’s four multi-game suspensions in a window of 23 playoff games.
Here is part of the explanation for the Nazem Kadri suspension via the Department of Player Safety:
"While we expect Kadri's argument that he was attempting to deliver a full body check, the head was the main point of contact on this hit." They said the hit was avoidable.
The league cited his disciplinary record in giving him eight games.
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) May 22, 2021
Along with Robert Bortuzzo, Justin Faulk will not play in Game 3 for the Blues following that Nazem Kadri hit. The Blues were already facing a tall order in trying to hang with the high-powered Avalanche, and now their defense looks like this:
So with Faulk/Bortuzzo out for Game 3, and Dunn (who stayed on the ice late after practice) not expected to play, here are the #stlblues potential D pairs:
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) May 21, 2021
With Nazem Kadri suspended, Carl Soderberg enters the Avalanche lineup for Game 3 vs. the Blues.
[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 First Round schedule, TV info]
Nazem Kadri’s suspension history
This seems like a pertinent time to note Nazem Kadri’s larger suspension history.
- November 2013: Nazem Kadri was suspended three games for interference. In that case, he collided with then-Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom.
- March 2015: Next, Kadri sat four games for an illegal hit to the head of Matt Fraser.
- April 2016: The 2015-16 season ended early for Kadri after he cross-checked Luke Glendening. It was another four-game suspension.
- April 2018: Now we get to the back-to-back Kadri suspensions vs. the Bruins in playoff games. Kadri missed Games 2, 3, and 4 in the Maple Leafs’ 2018 First Round series vs. the Bruins for a hit on Tommy Wingels.
- April 2019: A year later, the NHL suspended Nazem Kadri for the remainder of the Bruins – Maple Leafs First Round series (3-5 games) for a dangerous hit on Jake DeBrusk.
- May 2021: The NHL suspended Nazem Kadri eight games for that hit on Justin Faulk.
[NBC 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
AVALANCHE VS. BLUES (COL leads 2-0) – series livestream link
Game 1: Avalanche 4, Blues 1
Game 2: Avalanche 6, Blues 3
Friday, May 21: Avalanche at Blues, 9:30 p.m. ET (USA Network)
Sunday, May 23: Avalanche at Blues, 5 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
*Tuesday, May 25: Blues at Avalanche TBD
*Thursday, May 27: Avalanche at Blues TBD
*Saturday, May 29: Blues at Avalanche TBD
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.