Since Saturday night Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and hockey fans have been waiting to see what kind of discipline Nazem Kadri would receive after his wreck-less and inexcusable cross check to the face of Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk. Well, the NHL has decided to suspend Nazem Kadri for the remainder of the first round or essentially a 5 games suspension.
How did we get here?
Nazem Kadri is a repeat offender and has been suspended five times since 2013. Kadri has been suspended for things such as Interference (taking a deliberate run at then Minnesota Wild goalie Nicklas Backstrom), illegal check to the head, boarding, and similarly cross checking Red Wings player Luke Glendening in the face. He has also even had a team imposed suspension for being late to team meetings. Kadri has also been fined for poor behavior such as a throat slashing gesture, & diving/embellishment.
Earlier in Saturday nights game, Kadri took exception to what he felt were some hits that went unpenalized. Late in the second period, DeBrusk was lining up Kadri for a huge open ice hit. Kadri tried to jump out of the way, which produced a leg-on-leg hit that went unpenalized. Later on DeBrusk checked Leafs forward Patrick Marleau into the Bruins curved glass at the end of their bench. Kadri became upset, saw red, and cross checked DeBrusk in the face which resulted in a major penalty and a game misconduct.
Thoughts on the suspension
I wholeheartedly agree with that NHL department of player safety suspending Nazem Kadri for the rest of this series or essentially 5 games. In fact, I wouldn’t have been opposed to it if it were longer. What happened on Saturday night was not the first time Nazem Kadri has done this or other forms of negative behavior on the ice. He continues to hurt his team as a result of his actions and is only thinking of himself. Essentially, I’m saying he’s being very selfish. When is he going to learn that the actions he takes on the ice at times are not acceptable and effect other people? His team needs him right now in the playoffs and not being suspended. When he’s not involved in negative on ice behavior, Kadri is a very solid two-way Center-man with exceptional offensive and defensive capabilities. The Maple Leafs really need a player of his caliber in the lineup at this point in the year as it’s the Stanley Cup playoffs. It doesn’t help your team who have serious Stanley Cup aspirations when you keep getting in trouble over silly and ridiculous shenanigans. It would have been better for Kadri to challenge DeBrusk to fight and stand up for his teammates then to do what he did. Kadri needs to adapt, start doing better, and put his team first.
Feature image courtesy of TSN.