Avalanche's Nazem Kadri Likely out for Playoffs After Injury from Evander Kane Hit

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 6, 2022

EDMONTON, AB - JUNE 04: Colorado Avalanche Center Nazem Kadri (91) in action in the warm up during the Edmonton Oilers versus the Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals, game 3 on June 04, 2022 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB. (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche are just one win from the Stanley Cup Final, but they may have to finish chasing a championship without one of their primary contributors.

Darren Dreger of TSN reported Monday that center Nazem Kadri underwent surgery on his thumb after suffering an injury on a hit by Edmonton Oilers left wing Evander Kane during Saturday's Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.

While Kadri was not ruled out for the rest of the playoffs, Dreger noted it was "unlikely" he will return to the ice until the 2022-23 campaign.

Colorado head coach Jared Bednar had told reporters that Kadri would miss the rest of the series.

"He's out. He'll be out for the series at least, if not longer," Bednar said. "The hit, it's the most dangerous play in hockey. He puts him in headfirst from behind eight feet off the boards. I'll leave it at that."

Kane hit Kadri in the first period, and the Avalanche forward never returned. Gene Principe of Sportsnet reported Sunday that Kadri had a soft cast on his right wrist.

The Oilers forward was issued a five-minute major penalty for boarding, and the NHL Department of Player Safety announced he was suspended for one game.

While Colorado may not need Kadri to close out Edmonton after winning the first three games, his absence would be felt in the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers or Tampa Bay Lightning.

The 31-year-old tallied a career-best 87 points this season with 59 assists and 28 goals. His plus-minus of plus-13 was the second-best mark of his career, which started in the 2009-10 season and includes 10 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and three with Colorado.

The visiting Avalanche will look to close out the Oilers at 8 p.m. ET Monday.