Should Kadri have been suspended?

Should Kadri have been suspended?

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Nazem Kadri will attend a hearing with league discipline czar Brendan Shanahan this afternoon. The hearing is reportedly about the collision with goaltender Niklas Backstrom. It’s not clear as of yet if this indicates the League has reviewed Kadri’s hit on Mikael Granlund and found no supplemental discipline is needed.

When the League looks back at the tape, I think, or hope, they will find that the Granlund hit looked and sounded worse in real time than it was when scrutinizing the slow motion replay. The match penalty that saw the Leafs serve a five-minute penalty, and Kadri being ejected for the remainder of the game, seemed like overkill on its own. It was a reputation call, and it certainly did look bad; the refs had already been onto Kadri from the Backstrom incident, Kadri exploded upward into his hit, his stick smacked the glass and created a loud noise, Granlund’s head jerked back, and the crowd reacted loudly. A closer inspection suggests to me he kept his elbow down, his feet on the ice, and contacted, with his shoulder, the high chest area on Granlund. It seems the refs got sucked into a match penalty call that probably should have been a two-minute boarding call if anything.

Update:

Back to the Backstrom collision.

The title of this piece about the collision over at NBC Sports was, “is the Kadri hit similar to the Tootoo hit on Miller,” and it is. But it is also similar to Gionta’s elbow to Reimer’s head, and to countless other player-goalie collisions that were seemingly dismissed as unfortunate hockey plays. What’s the difference in Tootoo’s case that earned him the two-game suspension? It was a high profile incident after Miller had been ran by Lucic coming out of his crease a month earlier, no suspension was handed down, and the Sabres organization was irate. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons John Scott now exists in the league. So, we’re already seeing how inconsistent discipline decisions can snowball into more problems.

In this case, it’s a high-profile matter because Kadri is a Leaf; I’ll never be convinced otherwise. He’s in the Toronto spotlight. Twitter lit up, and reporters and the TSN panel were talking suspension within moments of it happening with little time to reflect on league discipline precedents or where it might actually fit in the big picture when it comes to these types of incidents. It’s not that I’m calling this an anti-Leaf conspiracy agenda on the part of the League, it’s the simple point that the actions of Leaf players receive more attention. The League’s job is to review everything, but to pretend like outside pressures and public perception don’t influence their decision making is completely naive.

Tootoo was ruled to have had minimal assistance from a defender in crashing into Miller, and got two games for the play. Kadri did not receive any assistance, either, and in relative terms there wasn’t even a defender nearby (as far as goalmouth plays go). One difference between the two is that Tootoo is driving the net with the puck while Kadri was wandering through the crease area looking to find a rebound or tip Lupul’s shot.

Kadri is playing recklessly here; he’s going to the net, which is what he’s always been told to do, but he’s just lost his place relative to the goaltender. He needs to be more aware of his surroundings, without a doubt. From there, he begins contact Backstrom, who was down on his knees and sliding out to the right of his goal crease to make the save on Lupul’s shot. Kadri’s arm makes contact with Backstrom’s head, and Kadri’s reaction is to raise his arms up to try to avoid what contact he can even though it’s too late; this kind of creates the optics of him extending his forearm through Backstrom’s head.

In principle, I’m fine if the League wants to start handing down a game or two for these type of reckless collisions in order to protect its goaltenders. It’s the inconsistency of the discipline that would upset me. I hated losing James Remier for months thanks to one of these collisions, and I would understand if the League wanted to send a message about playing recklessly around the net. But Reimer’s October, 2011 collision with Brian Gionta yielded no supplemental disciplinary action from the league. While it was different circumstances with Miller well out of his crease, neither did Lucic’s original collision with Miller. Why is it when Kadri does it is the hockey world acting like a suspension is automatically in store? If the League is going to make an example out of Kadri, I hope it means we’ll see consistency when it comes to this type of hit going forward, but what are the chances of that?

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
746 comments
Kouba
Kouba

No room for that in the league. Three games would be fair if there were at least signs of consistency.

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

WOW quick is expected out 4-6weeks

Cloud09
Cloud09

Ok so how long does NoNo go without bringing in another centre?? Got to think he has to make some kind of relief move soon. 

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

ali @akneil 36s

Kadri accidentally runs Backstrom: 3 games! Emery beats the living shit out of the back of Holtby's head: 3rd star! Bravo NHL.

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

This pisses me off even more about the Gionta on Reimer hit 

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

sadly i cant say im surprised about this, kessel got 3 games even though he wasnt a repeat offender too. Now we are just fucked b/c we dont have enough centers for the next 3 games. I guess the NHL doesn't care about the leafs b/c they know no matter what We will bring in Money.

Cameron19
Cameron19

Well, hopefully after we're 11-9-1 we can get back on track. 

Cloud09
Cloud09

So everyone ready for Friday night boxing??

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

how kadri get 3 games? i could see 2 but 3 is a bit much for 1st time imo.  

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

So............. this sets the precedent then, am I right? Oh ..............wtf do you mean no?

David Shoalts @dshoalts 2m

Shanahan said 3 games for Kadri boiled down to this: It wasn't intentional but he didn't do enough to avoid "or minimize" hit on Backstrom.

Great Dane
Great Dane

Why not try 2-3 Marlies down the middle. JVR is not working at center, so move him back an try McKegg.

It is obviously not good to have the Leafs too high in the standing. Could accept 3 games to Kadri if the other teams were treated in the same way.

Reether
Reether

@Cloud09 Gotta just ride it out and wait for Bozie to get back after kadri

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

@Cloud09 I wouldnt if we are good enough we can come back from this when our boys are healthy. If not then take a draft pick. No point overpaying for a center when otherwise we would not 

GreekGod
GreekGod

@Shift_Disturber1 

Or here's a thought... perhaps the league could have started this whole running of the goalie thing from the beginning and suspended guys like Lucic and Gionta

mcloki
mcloki

@Burtonboy With the referring being this brutal. You have got to be kidding.

Knights2Leafs
Knights2Leafs

@Marlies Man 

Poor example.  This play was okay because Shanny intended to hit the goalie, hence no problem.  It's only when you don''t intend to hit the goalie that is suspension worthy.

Fucking prick Shanahan.

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

@Marlies Man Was that a good goal? We had one scored on us like that. Ref told our Captain it was a good goal because the player had possession of the puck as he ran the goalie through the net. True story

Marlies Man
Marlies Man

@Black_Hawk @Cloud09 We can't! It's only three games. There's no relief move. If he were to do something it would have to be something of a significant magnitude to drastically improve the club going forward. No point of dealing picks or prospects now unless its for a piece. Fuck the NHL. Goon 'er up. Give 'em something to talk about for three games.