Following an eventful game against the Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety Thursday afternoon for his actions in Wednesday night’s game. The hearing is not in fact in regards to the hit that saw Kadri ejected from the game in the third period, but his levelling of Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom.
At 7:07 of the first period, Kadri was driving to the net and hit Backstrom while the goaltender was still in the crease (or at least very close). Backstrom was thrown back by the force of the collision, hitting the back of his head of the ice, remaining motionless for 10-15 seconds afterwards.
(h/t Sporting News)
Initially Backstrom remained in the game after being attended to on the ice, a poor call by the Wild’s on ice trainers given he was clearly dazed. Josh Harding was called upon in relief a couple of minutes later.
The loss of Kadri for any period of time will be a significant blow to the Leafs who are already playing without Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland down the middle. Kadri’s hearing is over the phone, therefore his pending suspension will be 5 games or less, but missing their only remaining offensive centre for even just the two games this weekend against Buffalo could be a major blow, as the Leafs have to be expecting to take 4 points in the back-t0-back, and without Kadri, that may not be quite as easy, no matter how bad Buffalo is.