USA Today Sports

Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri gets 3-game suspension he deserved

Sara Civian
April 13, 2018 - 9:39 pm

There was chatter that the Department of Player Safety would actually crack down on headshots this season, but everyone knows that’s just chatter until the playoffs. Player Safety proved it by suspending Nazem Kadri three games for boarding the Bruins' Tommy Wingels.

Kadri’s hit on Wingels was objectively suspendable on multiple levels, but let the intentional head contact speak for itself:

The Toronto center was handed a five-minute charging major and a game misconduct at the time (8:18 into the third) for hitting Wingels, who was clearly down before the hit. Player safety described the move as Kadri charging “recklessly into the defenseless Wingels.”

This is the fourth suspension of Kadri’s nine-year career. He tried to explain it off, saying “if he’s still standing up, there’s nothing wrong,” which obviously makes no sense.

Player safety has had it. “It is important to note that Kadri is in control of this hit at all times,” the report explained. “While Wingels falling might have been unanticipated, Kadri has enough time to recognize Wingels is on his knees and in a defenseless position before committing to the hit.”

Without Kadri, the Leafs have been putting Patrick Marleau on the second line and replacing Kadri with Zach Hyman, who scored the only (beautiful) goal in Toronto’s Game 1 loss opposite Marner. Kadri’s had 55 regular season points (32 G, 23 A), but he’s touted as a momentum-changer like Brad Marchand.

Kadri has already coughed up almost $400,000 from his career suspensions and fines.

Comments ()