Arbitrator upholds Kadri’s 8-game suspension for illegal hit

NHL Hockey

NEW YORK (AP)Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri saw his eight-game suspension for an illegal hit upheld by an arbitrator hours before Game 5 on Tuesday in a second-round series against Vegas.

Kadri has already served six games of a suspension he was given after an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of their first-round series. Faulk sustained a concussion, according to the report, and didn’t play in the final two games as the Avalanche swept the Blues to advance.

Colorado was holding out hope that Kadri might be available for Game 5 in Denver. But the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced the decision by arbitrator Shyam Das.

The NHLPA originally appealed the suspension to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, arguing a four-game suspension was more appropriate. The commissioner upheld the ruling on May 31.

There was an arbitration hearing last Friday via videoconference, with both sides presenting arguments. No witnesses were called.

Kadri’s final game of the suspension will be Game 6 on Thursday in Las Vegas. He would be eligible to return should there be a Game 7 or if the Avalanche advance. The series is tied at two games apiece.

It was the sixth suspension of Kadri’s career.

The 30-year-old Kadri was the only Avalanche player to suit up in all 56 regular-season games. He finished with 11 goals and 21 assists. He also led the team in faceoff wins.

More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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