May 21: The hearing has been scheduled for this afternoon.
May 20: It has happened again, Nazem Kadri will be suspended in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Colorado Avalanche forward was given a match penalty and a five-minute major for his hit on St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk last night and today was offered an in-person hearing with the Department of Player Safety. The in-person hearing gives the league the option to suspend Kadri for more than five games, a likely situation given his history.
Kadri, 30, has been suspended five times in his career, including twice in the playoffs when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 2019, he was banned for the remaining five games of the Maple Leafs first-round series against the Boston Bruins for a cross-check on Jake Debrusk.
The incident occurred in the third period of last night’s game. As Faulk received a drop pass in the high slot and tried to release a shot, Kadri came across the middle and delivered a hard check. The blow appeared to catch Faulk’s head, as he spun and stayed down on the ice. Faulk would leave the game and the Blues did not yet update his status.
This kind of incident is a big part of the reason why the Maple Leafs traded Kadri, despite him being a very impressive player at both ends of the ice. In 56 games this season he scored 11 goals and 32 points, giving the team some strong depth scoring and physicality. The Avalanche will likely have to navigate the rest of the first round without him.