As expected, the NHL hit Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri with a multi-game suspension on Monday evening for his high crosscheck on Boston Bruin Jake DeBrusk from Game 2 of their first-round series on Saturday:
In a somewhat surprising twist, the NHL didn’t ban Kadri for a set number of games. Instead, the league suspended him for the rest of the first round, which could see him miss between three to five games total. Kadri won’t play against the Bruins again this year, because, as the Player Safety video explains, “Players are simply not permitted to flagrantly violate league playing rules because they feel that retribution (for DeBrusk’s hit on Patrick Marleau) is justified.”
The video also notes that Kadri is a repeat offender. His rap sheet includes the three-game suspension he picked up in last year’s playoff series against the Bruins, and also a similar crosscheck to the head incident back in 2016. As such, even though the indefinite length breaks with the NHL’s more specific penalties on a couple of the most recent serious playoff suspensions, it makes sense that they’d escalate Kadri’s punishment. It also makes sense for the league to keep him off the ice against Boston no matter what, because it’d be ideal for all involved if both the Bruins and Maple Leafs could get through this series without any players committing murder.