Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri is facing a very long suspension following his latest act of thuggery. Kadri is a repeat offender and obviously hasn’t learned his lesson. It’s time for the NHL Department of Player safety to make it hurt. Kadri needs to have the book thrown at him.
Here’s what we know. Kadri has an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety which means he can be suspended for five or more games.
How did we get here? At the 14:03 mark of the third period, Kadri cross checked Boston Bruins forward Jake Debrusk in the throat area. Prior to being cross checked, Debrusk hit Patrick Marleau in front of the Bruins bench. For his efforts, Kadri was assessed a five-minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct.
Since the hit, I’ve seen a lot of silly whataboutisms on Twitter. Some will argue that Debrusk made knee-to-knee contact with Kadri earlier in the game. Okay, fine. Mark it down as a missed call. In re-watching the video of the knee-on-knee hit on Kadri, it appears that they ran into each other. Should there have been a penalty? Probably.
Missed calls happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here’s the reality, a penalty in the regular season isn’t always a penalty in the playoffs. There were missed calls on both ends of the ice. The video embedded below will give you a great idea how this game went.
The hit by Debrusk on Marleau was hard hit, but a player shouldn’t have to worry about being cross checked in the face after making a play. It was an overreaction by Kadri.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t think the knee-on-knee hit was questionable. I think you’ll like his answer.
“I thought it was clean,” Cassidy said. “Looking back on it, shoulder-to-shoulder. Obviously, Kadri stayed down, I mean that’s his prerogative when you get hit.”
Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock didn’t see the hit in question.
“Obviously, the league decides on all this kind of stuff,” Babcock told the media after the game. “I didn’t see it and haven’t reviewed because it was down the wall from us. I haven’t reviewed it, so I don’t really know that.
“It was a physical game. The referees, the way they reffed the game — let a lot of stuff go, obviously. In the end, you can’t let that get in the way of what you’re doing. Playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs isn’t supposed to be easy, and it’s worth it. You’ve just got to find another level to dig in.”
We’re really at a cross roads here, is Nazem Kadri the Next Tom Wilson? He can’t seem to control himself in intense games. This the second playoff series in a row that he’s going to end up watching from that stands. Kadri made his bed and now he has to sleep in it. This should also be a wake up call for the rest of the players in this series.
Here’s Kadri’s suspension history. Kadri is starting to get quite a rap sheet. (s/t TSN.CA)
Apr 20, 2018 Missed the last 3 playoff games (suspended by nhl).
Apr 13, 2018 Suspended by the NHL for 3 games.
Apr 09, 2016 Missed the last 4 regular season games (suspended by nhl).
Apr 04, 2016 Suspended by the NHL for 4 games.
Apr 04, 2016 Fined $88,172 by the NHL.
Apr 01, 2016 Fined $5,000 by the NHL.
Feb 11, 2016 Fined $5,000 by the NHL.
Mar 18, 2015 Suspended by the NHL for 4 games.
Mar 13, 2015 Missed 3 games (disciplinary).
Nov 20, 2013 Missed 3 games (suspended by nhl).
Nov 14, 2013 Suspended by the NHL for 3 games.
Finally, former NHL tough guy Sean Avery shares his thoughts on the dirty cross check.