Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri earned himself a major for charging and ejection from Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks for a massive blindside hit on Daniel Sedin, but that’s where the 26-year-old’s punishment will end.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Sunday morning that Kadri will not be facing supplemental discipline for the hit, and, though the league generally remains silent on plays that don’t result in suspension, vice president of the Department of Player Safety Damian Echevarrieta commented Sunday morning on the Kadri hit via Twitter.
In the tweet, Echevarrieta posted a picture of Kadri’s hit on Sedin, and commented that blindside hits are not altogether illegal, pointing out the distinction has to be made whether or not the head was the principle point of contact. And, as far as the Kadri-Sedin collision goes, it was determined that the main point of contact wasn’t the head. Here’s the hit once again:
There will be those who support Vancouver who are in vehement disagreement with the Department of Player Safety’s decision, and it appears the Canucks themselves are in that camp. In a rarely seen instance of a club responding to a league disciplinary decision, Canucks GM Jim Benning said the team is “very disappointed.”
“We disagree with the ruling this morning and are very disappointed,” Benning said in the statement. “However, we must accept it and put it behind us so we can focus on tomorrow’s game.”
As far as the ruling goes, it’s no doubt the optics of the hit that had most believing Kadri would see a suspension. However, the scariest part of the hit is that Sedin’s helmet pops off, which nearly results in his bare head making dangerous contact with the ice. That, almost more than the hit itself, could have been the reason why Sedin remained down for a few extra moments and left the game briefly. He was able to return before the end of the third.
What happened following the hit certainly increased the spotlight on the collision, too. Kadri’s hit sparked a brouhaha between the Maple Leafs and Canucks that lasted for much of what remained in the contest. In the 13 minutes of game time after the hit, there were eight fighting majors handed out, 10 total misconducts, three instigator penalties and a roughing minor.
For the time being, though, the league’s decision not to suspend Kadri will put an end to the discussion about this hit, but it won’t be long until the bad blood boils between the two teams once again.
On Dec. 3, the Maple Leafs roll into Vancouver for a rematch against the Canucks, and it wouldn’t be at all shocking if the chippy play and scrappiness that followed Kadri’s hit finds its way into the next meeting between the two clubs.
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