NHL Player Safety takes a controversial stance on Kadri/Binnington collision.

The league has made it's decision.

Jonathan Larivee

I suspect that fans in St. Louis are not going to be thrilled by this latest bit of news.

According to a report from St. Louis Blues rinkside reporter Andy Strickland, it would appear that the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety has made a decision regarding the collision that occurred during Game 3 between Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri. Strickland reports that his sources have informed him the league is not expected to react to what he describes as the "Nazem Kadri bulldoze of Jordan Binnington" in Game 3. Additionally Strickland's sources have informed him that the NHL views the physical contact that occurred between Kadri and Blues defenseman Calle Rosen, prior to the contact with Binnington, as both players were chasing down the loose puck in front of Binnington as a key mitigating factor in the incident.

While I can certainly understand the league's perspective here, it is after all impossible to know a player's intent unless you can somehow read his mind, you need look to further than Strickland's own response to realize that this will be somewhat of a controversial decision on the part of the NHL. I suspect that Kadri's well earned reputation as a dirty player, especially when it comes to the Stanley Cup playoffs, is playing a large role in how this incident is being perceived by fans, especially those in St. Louis.

First, if you haven't seen the collision from Game 3, here's a replay:

For fans of the St. Louis Blues this will feel all too familiar given their team's recent history with the aforementioned Nazem Kadri. During the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, Kadri was involved in a highly controversial incident with St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk. As Faulk was skating into the Avalanche zone, Kadri caught him up high with a brutal hit to the head that left Faulk out on the ice for several long moments.

That hit would prove to be a costly one for Kadri who would earn himself an 8 game suspension from the NHL's Department of Player Safety. Given how recent this was, you can easily start to see why fans of the Blues aren't willing to give Kadri the benefit of the doubt following the collision in Game 3.

Prior to that Kadri was suspended for another dirty play during his time as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a crosscheck to the head of Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk. Thankfully in this instance, unlikely the incidents involving Binnington and Faulk, DeBrusk was not seriously injured. It would however earn Kadri a 5 game suspension, a pattern of behavior that once again leads to doubts surrounding the incident in Game 3.

In 2018 Kadri earned himself a 3 game suspension for a hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Tommy Wingels, another very ugly incident in which there seemed to be clear ill intent on Kadri's part.

As I've said already I can understand why the NHL's Department of Player Safety has made the decision they have but Kadri's long history of dangerous, and frankly predatory, behavior in the Stanley Cup playoffs means that not everybody is going to like it.