For the second time, the eight-game suspension of Nazem Kadri has been upheld. This time by neutral arbitrator Shyam Das, the final appeal Kadri can make after the suspension was already upheld by commissioner Gary Bettman. The decision was first reported by Darren Dreger of TSN.
Kadri has already served six of the eight games, meaning he will be eligible to return for the Colorado Avalanche in game seven of their current series, should it go that far.
In the decision, Das explains that the “key factor” in Department of Player Safety head George Parros’ decision to issue and Bettman’s decision to uphold an eight-game suspension was Kadri’s history of supplementary discipline.
It is true that in this case, unlike his two most recent suspensions in the 2018 and 2019 playoffs, respectively, Kadri did not act in an emotional, hotheaded or retaliatory manner, but in this instance, unlike those two prior ones, there was an injury — a significant one — to the opposing player. Parros testified that the DPS believed that Kadri’s history showed the message was not getting through, and that the discipline needed to go up from the most recent five-playoff game suspension issued to Kadri — without doubling that suspension as had been done in some other cases — in order to send a strong message. The Commissioner came to the same conclusion as the DPS, after also taking into account the comparisons with other players that the NHLPA presented to him.
Das had previously reduced the lengthy suspensions for Tom Wilson and Austin Watson, but Kadri was not so lucky. His appeal has been denied and he will serve the full eight games before being eligible to return to action.