Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri appealing 8-game suspension

Colorado forward Nazem Kadri is appealing his eight-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk, looking to get it reduced with the Avalanche moving on to the second round.

The NHL Players’ Association filed the appeal Sunday night on Kadri’s behalf. The first appeal goes to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and Kadri could then take his case to a neutral arbitrator if he so chooses.

After the Avalanche finished off a sweep of the Blues, Kadri has six games left to serve on the initial suspension, pending the appeals process. Colorado will face the winner of the Vegas-Minnesota series in the second round.

Kadri was suspended indefinitely after injuring Faulk in Game 2 of the Avalanche-Blues series pending a video hearing with the league’s department of player safety. That department handed down an eight-game suspension Friday night.

“I’m a little surprised, to be honest with you,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “I looked through all the head shot suspensions for the last year, a lot of two-gamers getting handed out for significant hits to the head. We’ve had some guys put out with hits to the head that are still out with no suspension. So, I thought, generally the rule of thumb is playoffs you get a little less, and he got significantly worse.”

Kadri’s history played a part in that, as did Faulk’s injury.

It’s Kadri’s third playoff suspension over the past six postseasons. He was suspended for the remainder of the first round in 2019 for cross-checking, which turned out to be five games, and was suspended three games for boarding in 2018.

Each of those incidents happened with Toronto, which traded him to Colorado in the summer of 2019. Kadri had 18 points in 15 games for the Avalanche in the 2020 bubble playoffs when he was able to stay out of trouble.

Kadri had 32 points in 56 games this season as Colorado won the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

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