Avalanche's Nazem Kadri Has 8-Game Suspension for Hit on Justin Faulk Upheld

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 31, 2021

DENVER, CO - MAY 19: St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk (72) and Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) collide in the third period on a play that would result in a match penalty in the third period during a Stanley Cup Playoffs first round game between the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on May 19, 2021. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri's eight-game suspension for a high hit on St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of the first-round series between the teams was upheld Monday by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, per ESPN.com.

The appeal process is not over, however. Per that report, "The NHL Players Association has filed another appeal on Kadri's behalf to a neutral arbitrator. Shyam Das will serve as the arbitrator, the NHLPA told ESPN's Emily Kaplan. Kadri will remain suspended during the appeal process."

Kadri has already missed the last two games of Colorado's sweep of the Blues and the team's 7-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of the second round on Sunday. 

His hit was deemed to be a "high, forceful check," and he was given a five-minute major and ejected. 

Faulk didn't return to that game and didn't play again in the series.

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

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

The NHL clearly factored Kadri's past into its ruling, calling him "a player with a substantial disciplinary record." He's been suspended six times in his 12-year career, including three times in the postseason.