The NHL Department of Player Safety has offered Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri an in-person hearing for his illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk.
By offering a hearing, the Department of Player Safety has the ability to suspend Kadri for more than five games. "In-person" hearings have been conducted over Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the player has the ability to waive it and do it over the phone.
The play occurred in the third period of Wednesday's Game 2, a 6-3 Colorado victory that put the Avs up 2-0 in the first-round series. After Faulk took a shot, Kadri hit the defenseman by leading with his shoulder -- and appeared to hit him square in the head.
The referees reviewed the play and assessed a five-minute major and match penalty for an illegal check to the head. Faulk did not return to the game, and his teammates were furious at the play.
"That's a very dangerous hit. It's gotta be a suspension," Blues captain Ryan O'Reilly said. "He's a repeat offender. It's completely uncalled for. That's awful to see."
The Department of Player Safety considers a player's history only after it determines if the play merits a suspension. Kadri has a lengthy list of transgressions; he has been suspended five times by the NHL since 2013 -- including twice in the playoffs with the Maple Leafs.
The Department of Player Safety factors in repeat offender status into its discipline. Here's Nazem Kadri's history of fines/suspensions pic.twitter.com/klhzE35S7Z— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) April 14, 2019
In Kadri's most recent suspension, he sat out the final five games of the Maple Leafs' 2019 first-round series after a high cross-check on Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk.
Toronto traded Kadri to Colorado that following offseason.
According to the collective bargaining agreement, a player is considered a repeat offender "for 18 months following his most recent incident that resulted in a suspension." But the 18-month clause only refers to repeat offender status when factoring in how much money the player loses. All history can be relevant and considered for the purpose of determining suspension length.
"The guy can't control himself," Blues center Brayden Schenn said. "In the playoffs, he's a repeat offender. Bad hits, greasy hits -- he had a guy in a vulnerable position and he picked nothing but the head."
ESPN's Greg Wyshynski contributed to this report.