Avalanche's Nazem Kadri suspended 8 games for hit to head

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NEW YORK (AP) — Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri was suspended for eight games by the NHL on Friday night for his head shot on St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of a first-round playoff series.

The NHL announced the punishment during Colorado's game at St. Louis. The top-seeded Avalanche took a 2-0 series lead into the game.

This marked the sixth career suspension for Kadri, who was acquired by Colorado in a deal with Toronto on July 1, 2019.

Kadri latest suspension stemmed from clipping Faulk in the head with his right elbow midway through the third period in Game 3 on Wednesday. Faulk left the contest, and Kadri was thrown out with a match penalty. Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly called it a dangerous hit that was “completely uncalled for.”

Faulk was ruled out for Game 3 in St. Louis.

The 30-year-old Kadri was suspended indefinitely Thursday pending a video hearing with the league’s department of player safety.

Two years ago, Kadri was suspended for the rest of the Maple Leafs’ playoff series against Boston for cross-checking, a punishment that ended up being five games.

Kadri appeared in all 56 regular season games for the Presidents' Trophy-winning Avalanche. He was sixth on the team in points with 11 goals and 21 assists. He also led the team in faceoff wins.

The veteran forward brings a physical edge to a speedy Colorado team. He had nine goals during the 2020 playoffs, which tied Nathan MacKinnon for most on the team.

Kadri's roster spot will be taken by veteran forward Carl Soderberg, who was acquired from Chicago on April 12. Soderberg's yet to play in the series.

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The Associated Press

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