Bettman upholds eight-game ban for Avs’ Kadri

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri’s eight-game suspension was upheld Monday by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Bettman heard Kadri’s appeal of the suspension last Thursday. Kadri has the right under the collective bargaining agreement to now appeal to a neutral arbitrator if he chooses but would remain suspended during the appeal process.

Kadri has already served three games of the suspension, missing his Avalanche’s final two games in their first-round series against the St. Louis Blues and Game 1 of their second-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Kadri received the suspension on May 21 for a “high, forceful check” to the head of Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in the third period of Game 2 of the Colorado’s series against St. Louis on May 19. After a review by the referees, he was assessed a five-minute major and match penalty for an illegal check to the head.

When the NHL issued Kadri the suspension, the league called him “a player with a substantial disciplinary record,” as this is the sixth suspension of his career.

This is 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 the Toronto Maple Leafs, who traded him to Colorado in the summer of 2019. Kadri had 18 points 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. He traditionally occupies a spot on the team’s second line.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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