4:58 pm: The Department of Player Safety, as a result of the hearing, has determined to not issue a suspension to Zadorov. They gave the following explanation via Twitter:
While there was significant head contact on this play, Zadorov took a proper angle of approach, did not extend outward or upward, and hit through Glendening’s core. Therefore, under Rule 48.1 (i), the head contact was determined to be unavoidable.
10:42 am: The Calgary Flames have to try and stave off elimination at home tomorrow night, and they might be without one of their big, intimidating defensemen. Nikita Zadorov will have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety regarding the check to the head of Dallas Stars forward Luke Glendening last night.
Zadorov ended up taking 14 minutes in penalties last night, but none of them were assessed on the hit that knocked Glendening out of the game. Viewers could clearly see Stars head coach Rick Bowness yelling at the officials that it was a “head shot,” after the forward slumped to the ice in a scary position. Glendening played just over four minutes in the game.
A suspension would obviously take Zadorov out of the mix for game seven tomorrow, a player that has come into his own for the Flames this year. Perhaps more importantly, is the fact that Chris Tanev also exited the game early with an injury, meaning two of the team’s more reliable options might not be available for head coach Darryl Sutter.
The 6’6″ Zadorov is an incredibly intimidating presence on the ice as one of the league’s most powerful open-ice hitters. He also racked up 22 points, a career high, in 74 games this season, while averaging just under 17 minutes a night. His possession statistics were by far the best he’s ever posted, while he still managed to rack up 181 hits on the year, trailing only Milan Lucic among Flames.
Calgary already did dress seven defensemen last night, but that group will be stretched quite thin if both Zadorov and Tanev are unavailable. Connor Mackey, who didn’t dress, is also up with the team at the moment.