Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri will not be going away quietly it seems.
Last week Kadri was hit with a truly massive suspension when the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety made the decision to suspended him for 8 games in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL tends to value playoff games twice as much as regular season games, which means this would have been a huge 16 game suspension had it been doled out during the regular season.
Well it would appear as though Kadri believes his penalty was too harsh and for this reason he will now be fighting his 8 game ban by appealing the suspension via the National Hockey League Players Association. On Sunday NHL insider Elliotte Friedman confirmed what has been floating around on the rumor mill for several days now, with Kadri set to appeal his ban before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
I'll be perfectly honest here, given the way that the NHL tends to operate I would truly be shocked to see Bettman overturn a ruling that was made by one of his officials in any context. In this case the ruling was presumably made by the head of the NHL's Department of Player Safety George Paros and given how much criticism he has faced for his role in that position I do not believe for a second that Bettman will undermine his ruling in any way, not even by simply lowering the number of games for which Kadri has been suspended.
Where I do think there may be some hope here for Kadri however will be in the second phase of this appeal, if he makes the decision to go through with it. After Bettman has made his ruling the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement would allow Kadri to appeal his suspension a second time, this time to a neutral arbitrator.
This tactic has proven successful before with the most recent example that comes to mind being Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson having his 20 game suspension reduced to just 14 games, a move that saved him just under $400,000 in salary. In that instance however Wilson had already served 16 games of the 20 game suspension, so even if Kadri wins the appeal it he may end up serving the entire thing unless the process is sped up considerably.
Here's the hit that caused the suspension: