Nazem Kadri will appeal suspension and may use outside counsel apart from NHLPA

Nazem Kadri will appeal his suspension. When defending himself to the NHL’s Department of Player Safety he made it clear he was going for a full body hit and had no intent to injure. Kadri obviously must believe there’s a level of bias since he’s been suspended several times before.

Nazem Kadri will appeal his suspension

In game two against the Blues, he came across the ice and leveled Justin Faulk. Slow motion replay showed that Kadri led with his right shoulder and went high to Faulk’s head. He was assessed a match penalty and the NHL Department of Player Safety came down hard with an 8 game ruling.

News broke yesterday that Kadri was going to appeal his suspension. Per the Denver Post:

The appeal will be heard by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and “if Kadri is unsatisfied with that ruling, he can appeal to an independent arbitrator,” according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. TSN’s Darren Dreger said the first step of Kadri’s appeal could begin “mid-week.”

Denver Post

The most interesting tidbit of info came from Nick Kypreos who states that Kadri will be hiring outside counsel to represent him in the appeal. Normally, this is all handled by the NHLPA who files the paperwork.

Nazem Kadri hit explained by NHL DOPS

nazem kadri
May 19, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) checks St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk (72) in the third period in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Kadri would be ejected from the game for an illegal hit to the head. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL DoPS safety called it an illegal hit to the head. According to DoPS, Kadri explained he was just trying to deliver a full body check, but it was noted that this was avoidable. As for the lengthy 8 game suspension, it was due to this being his 6th offense of his career.

Kadri wasn’t the only one who felt the penalty was too harsh. His head coach had some strong opinions on the matter as well.

“I’m a little surprised, to be honest with you,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “I looked through all the head-shot suspensions for the last year, a lot of two-gamers getting handed out for significant hits to the head. We’ve had some guys put out with hits to the head that are still out with no suspension, so I thought, generally the rule of thumb is playoffs, you get a little less, and he got significantly worse, so it is what it is. We have to deal with it, and we need other guys to step up, and I’m not going to worry about the past.”

The appeal will take place this week. Most likely, he may see a reduction in games but not a full repeal.