The Colorado Avalanche will not be welcoming Nazem Kadri back earlier than expected.
After filing an official appeal to reduce the length of the suspension handed down to him on May 21st by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety due to a hit to the head of St. Louis’ Justin Faulk, Kadri was informed on Monday morning that commissioner Gary Bettman ruled to uphold the initial 8-game ban. The outcome, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, is less than surprising.
Kadri’s long list of past disciplinary incidents undoubtedly factored into today’s decision.
This most recent punishment marks the sixth time in the 30-year-old centre’s career that he has been suspended for head-related contact, painting the picture of a player who continually acts as a detriment to the safety of those around him. With five games left on the initial ruling, Kadri’s plea to reduce it from eight games down to four would have, if successful, made him eligible to return to the Avalanche’s lineup for game three of their second-round series on June 4th.
Of course, his plea was not successful. And Kadri will be relegated to watching from the sidelines for the time being.
This story has not yet reached its ultimate conclusion, however. Kadri still has the option to appeal to an independent arbitrator for a final ruling, an avenue down which he has reportedly chosen to go in the wake of Bettman’s announcement. The arbitrator in charge of the ruling is none other than Shyam Das, who has presided over similar cases to Kadri’s in recent years, such as reducing Tom Wilson’s 20-game ban in 2018 down to 14.
The date for Kadri’s final appeal has yet to be announced. And with the Avalanche sitting on a commanding 1-0 lead in their series with the Vegas Golden Knights thanks to a decisive 6-1 victory on Sunday night, they might not be holding their breath, either.