When it comes to postseason suspensions, few resumes can match that of Nazem Kadri’s.
The 30-year-old center has landed once again on the wrong end of controversy, with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety ruling this evening to suspended Kadri eight games as a result of his targeted hit to the head of St. Louis defenceman Justin Faulk.
This is the third time Kadri will watch his team participate in playoff action from afar due to disciplinary reasons. Beginning with a three-game ban in 2018 for an illegal cross-check to the head of Jake DeBrusk and the five-game ban that followed the next year for, well, nearly the exact same thing, Kadri’s postseason rap sheet now consists of 16 total playoff games served in suspensions. That is a staggering number for someone with Kadri’s postseason experience, a figure that amounts to a whopping 37% of his career playoff games played.
And that, mind you, is if the Avalanche survives long enough for Kadri to serve his most recent ruling.
The inability to control himself during the most pressure-packed contests is, conceivably, the reason why Kadri wound up in Colorado to begin with. A stalwart member of Toronto’s sterling center corps, prevailing thought suggests that Maple Leafs’ General Manager Kyle Dubas sought to trade Kadri during the 2019 offseason due not to a lack of talent or stylistic fit within the team’s roster, but rather a lack of trust in Kadri to not once again put his own team at a disadvantage when it mattered most. A lack of trust that, following Friday’s ruling, seems warranted.
Now, Kadri finds himself in an eerily similar position to the one that drove him away from his hometown team two seasons ago. Only time will tell what further consequences may come.