Nazem Kadri suspended 8 games for head shot on Justin Faulk

DENVER, CO - MAY 19: St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk (72) and Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) collide in the third period on a play that would result in a match penalty in the third period during a Stanley Cup Playoffs first round game between the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on May 19, 2021. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Just something about the Stanley Cup Playoffs gets Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri revved up and ready to go make some dangerous plays on the ice.

His most recent postseason brain-scrambling hit was during Game 2 against the St. Louis Blues, as he slid across the ice and delivered his shoulder up into the head of defenseman Justin Faulk. For that, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety hit him with an eight-game suspension.

In the department’s explainer video, they determined that contact to the head was avoidable and that the head was the main point of contact on the hit. They also laid no blame on Faulk, as he did not change his position or body “in a way that substantially contributes to the head being the main point of contact.”

Kadri has a shrouded past of similar hits throughout his career, but none more significant or notable than the one that tossed him out of the all-important first-round series against the Boston Bruins during his time as a Maple Leaf in 2019. It was a series that could have gone his team’s way if he was able to stay on the ice, and in the end it was the end of him in Toronto.

With that past, Kadri was not technically a repeat offender. According to the guidelines, a player must be suspended (not fined) within the last 18 months for them to be considered one. But, as if the NHL rulebook could not get more convoluted, that description is somewhat loose and in the explainer video, they specifically mention Kadri’s history as a factor.

No matter what, this suspension will have Kadri sitting on the sidelines for the rest of the first round, and could potentially leave him out of the lineup for the majority of the second round as well.

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