Colorado's Kadri suspended eight games for hit

Los Angeles (AFP) –


The National Hockey League slapped Nazem Kadri with an eight game ban on Friday, the fifth time the Colorado Avalanche forward has been suspended in his career.

Kadri was suspended for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues player Justin Faulk that occurred in the third period of Wednesday night's 6-3 playoff win by the Avalanche.

The league's Department of Player Safety ruled that Kadri delivered a "high, forceful check" to the head area of Faulk after the vulnerable Blues player took a shot on goal.

"While we accept Kadri's argument that he was trying to deliver a full body check, the head was the main point of contact on this hit," said the NHL's discipline officials.

Kadri was given a match penalty by the game officials, who ruled he aimed for the head area. The Blues called for an investigation into the incident after the game.

"The guy can't control himself," said Blues centre Brayden Schenn. "Bad hits. Greasy hits."

This marks the sixth suspension of Kadri's career with three coming in the postseason. The league said they took into consideration that he is a repeat offender.

"That's a very dangerous hit. It's got to be a suspension. He's a repeat offender. It's completely uncalled for. That's awful to see," Blues captain Ryan O'Reilly said.

Faulk did not return to the game which put them down 0-2 in the first round series.

Colorado was anticipating the suspension would be more than five games. The NHL said it considered the head contact avoidable, and that Kadri raised his shoulder to make contact.

Kadri has played in 704 games and he has been suspended five times and fined three times before this ban.