Nazem Kadri’s suspension appeal hearing to take place Thursday

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[UPDATE: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld Kadri’s eight-game suspension following an appeal.]

Nazem Kadri‘s suspension appeal will take place Thursday via Zoom with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

The Avalanche forward is appealing the eight-game suspension that was handed down by the NHL Department of Player Safety last week. Kadri was punished for his hit to the head of Blues defenseman Justin Faulk during Game 2 of their First Round series. He was assessed a match penalty on the play.

Kadri has already served two games of the suspension as Colorado finished off its sweep of St. Louis. The forward has six games left unless Bettman decides to cut the remaining suspension length.

Now, should Bettman deny Kadri’s appeal, the Avalanche forward has the right to appeal to a neutral arbitrator because the suspension was for more than six games. But by the time that could come to pass, Kadri’s eight-game ban may be up or close to ending.

Nazem Kadri’s suspension history

Kadri is no stranger to being disciplined by the NHL:

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 First Round schedule, TV info]

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said that he didn’t think the hit warranted eight games.

“The eight games, I’m a little surprised, to be honest with you,” said Bednar. “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 they 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. ”

Colorado will face either Vegas or Minnesota in the Second Round. The Golden Knights are up 3-2 in their series with the Wild with Game 6 Wednesday night (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.