(NEW YORK) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld the eight-game suspension from Colorado forward Nazem Kadri.
During game two of the Avalanche-Blues first-round series, Kadri hit St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk with an illegal check to the head. The hit occurred at the 6:26 mark of the third period and Kadri was given a five-minute major and a match penalty.
Falk was concussed on the play.
George Parros, NHL’s head of player safety, held an in-person hearing with Kadri over Zoom on May 21. Following the hearing, Parros handed down an eight-game suspension for Kadri. He has already served three games of the suspension.
Kadri appealed the decision on May 23 and four days later the appeal was heard by Bettman, according to the commissioners ruling.
During the hearing, the NHL Players Association conceded the fact that Kadri broke Playing Rule 48, an illegal hit to the head, but argued eight games was “exceptionally severe” and not supported by clear and convincing evidence.”
They asked for a four-game suspension instead of eight.
This is the sixth suspension for Kadri, including the third time in the past four playoffs. Each suspension has a common element, a forceful hit to the head, three of which caused injury, according to the ruling.
“There is nothing about his pattern that suggests that he is entitled at this point to “credit” for good behavior or that he has reformed in a way that would warrant disregarding any part of his lengthy record,” the ruling said.
The NHLPA has filed for another appeal on Kadri’s behalf to a neutral arbiter, according to ESPN.
Colorado is facing Vegas in the second round of the playoffs. They are up 1-0 in the series.
Kadri would be eligible to return for Game Seven of the series if it goes that many games.
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