Players running into goalies is an age-old problem in hockey and there is no clear, definable solution to quell contact in one of the busiest areas of the ice. But what Toronto’s Nazem Kadri did by running into Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom, without being pushed by a Wild defender, is a blatant infraction. And the fact Kadri caught Backstrom in the head, an increasing area of concern for NHL officials, was enough to get the league involved.
Kadri was suspended three games for the incident. Here is NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan explaining why he settled on this decision.
While it’s not the most heinous hit you’ll ever see and certainly doesn’t look like an intentional drive to the head, it’s not something the league would want its players to look at and consider to be acceptable. And that’s just what the takeaway would have been had this play not been followed by a suspension.
What do you think? Is three games too long, too short, or just right for Kadri?