In the late hours of Friday night the National Hockey League dropped the hammer on the Colorado Avalanche and veteran forward Nazem Kadri, announcing that they had hit the forward with a massive 8 game suspension following his hit to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk. It is one of the biggest suspensions we have seen in quite some time in the NHL and when you consider how the NHL tends to value playoff games at a two to one ratio over regular season games, we are left to assume that this would have been a 16 game ban had it occurred in the regular season.
That is truly a gigantic punishment, although one that was awarded as a direct result of Kadri's lengthy history of crossing the line and putting opposing players in danger during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and it sounds like it may be so big that Kadri will look to fight it. Although there has been no official announcement from Kadri, the Colorado Avalanche organization, or the National Hockey League Players' Association, there is now at least one report that indicates an appeal may be in the cards here.
On Saturday NHL insider Pierre LeBrun reported that "there's a good chance" that Kadri's camp will look to fight the ban he received as a result of his hit on Faulk, and I can certainly see why he would choose to go down that road. Kadri has now been suspended in 3 of his last 4 playoff runs and there's no question that teams around the league will now view having him on their roster come playoff time as a major liability. There's good reason to believe that the primary reason he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche was a direct result of the suspension he received while a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs for cross checking Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk in the head. That incident knocked Kadri out of the series entirely, a series that his team would lose in an extremely hard fought battle with the Bruins.
On that same note however, I suspect that due to the lengthy history of suspensions Kadri has received in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, his chances of a successful appeal here are slim to none.
Once again here is how the NHL ruled on the matter: