UPDATED, May 21st: The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has suspended Nazem Kadri for eight games for his high shoulder to head hit on Justin Faulk. Kadri has now been suspended six times in his career, and his status as a repeat offender played a role in the DoPS’ ruling. It remains to be seen why the NHL waited until after the first period of Game Three to announce the suspension.
Original article follows:
Some players play with an edge; which side of that edge they fall on is up to them. There’s nothing wrong with setting the tempo with a big hit or aggressive pressure. In fact, I’d argue in its favor (and I would like to see the Blues do it more against Colorado).
A big hit can turn into a problem when the player making that hit, someone who has played hockey his entire life, makes a conscious decision to turn that big hit into an illegal check. Nazem Kadri does that fairly often. He has been suspended five times in his NHL career, most recently in the 2019 playoffs for a vicious cross-check on the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk.
Last night, he set is sights on Blues defenseman Justin Faulk. Faulk has arguably been the best defenseman on the team this season, and is sorely needed if the Blues want to advance to the second round. Having him in the lineup may not be an option:
Will he be suspended? Chances are good. Kadri was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct, so a hearing with the repeat offender will probably be announced later today.
This would be a golden opportunity for the NHL to redeem itself after its precedence-setting ruling on Tom Wilson earlier this month. It’s clear that Brayden Schenn’s assessment of Kadri as a “guy [who] can’t control himself” is spot-on. What’s less clear is if another suspension will make a difference in changing how he plays.
Faulk’s status is unknown for the next game.
This post will be updated as needed.
UPDATE, 11:38 ET:
Colorado’s Nazem Kadri has been offered an in-person hearing via Zoom for an Illegal Check to the Head on St. Louis’ Justin Faulk. Date and time TBD.— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 20, 2021
This more than likely means that Kadri is out for the rest of this series.