As expected, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety has come down on Nazem Kadri, suspending him for the next four games as punishment for his elbow to the head of Matt Fraser.
According to Leafs assistant coach Steve Spott, the reasoning behind the punishment length was divided into three parts. The actual action earned him two games, the fact that Fraser suffered a concussion added an extra, and one more game was added for Kadri’s prior history.
This isn’t Kadri’s first suspension, and we’re not talking about his late-for-practice saga from last week. In November 2013, he was suspended three games for a hit to the head of Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom.
Four games appears to be a just punishment, given all of the factors at stake. I’m not a big fan of suspending based off of the severity of the victim’s injury, as that’s often out of the aggressor’s control, but even if unintentional, the hit was no doubt reckless. Seeing as his last suspension was only sixteen months ago, it’s no shock to see him considered a repeat offender.
Kadri will miss games against San Jose (tomorrow), Ottawa (Saturday), Minnesota (March 23rd), and Florida (March 26th). The earliest he can return is on March 28th against the Senators.