Avalanche's Nazem Kadri Suspended 8 Games for Illegal Check on Blues' Justin Faulk

Blake SchusterContributor IMay 22, 2021

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 22: Colorado Avalanche centerman Nazem Kadri (91) during a NHL game between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues on April 22, 2021, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Mo. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images),
Icon Sportswire

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri has been suspended eight games for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of their first-round postseason matchup.

It's the sixth suspension for Kadri in his past 704 games. Faulk, meanwhile, did not return to play in Game 2 and was unavailable for Game 3 on Friday. St. Louis head coach Craig Berube has not ruled out the defenseman for the remainder of the series, but he remains questionable going forward.

NHL Player Safety @NHLPlayerSafety

Colorado’s Nazem Kadri has been suspended for eight games for an Illegal Check to the Head on St. Louis’ Justin Faulk. https://t.co/5rg2ZPVm5P

The Avs hold a 2-0 series lead pending Friday's result.

Even before the NHL's ruling, Blues captain Ryan O'Reilly said a suspension was necessary given Kadri's past.

"That's a very dangerous hit," O'Reilly told reporters. "It's gotta be a suspension. He's a repeat offender. It's completely uncalled for. That's awful to see."

According to ESPN's Emily Kaplan, the league's Department of Player Safety offered an in-person hearing—conducted via zoom—before a ruling was announced. That gave the league the ability to suspend Kadri for at least five games.

Kadri initially received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct, removing him from play in the third period of a 6-3 victory.

"The guy can't control himself," Blues center Brayden Schenn said. "In the playoffs, he's a repeat offender. Bad hits, greasy hits—he had a guy in a vulnerable position, and he picked nothing but the head."

Emily Kaplan @emilymkaplan

The Department of Player Safety factors in repeat offender status into its discipline. Here's Nazem Kadri's history of fines/suspensions pic.twitter.com/klhzE35S7Z

Kadri last served a suspension in the postseason as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019, missing five games of his club's first-round series against the Boston Bruins for a cross-check on Jake DeBrusk.