Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Nazem Kadri suspension not nearly long enough, NHL proves no one is safe

Nazem Kadri has been suspended for three games following his hit to the head of Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild. That’s the goaltender, by the way. The NHL has made one thing clear with Kadri’s suspenson: No one out on the ice is safe, and that the league won’t do much of anything to attempt to prevent plays like this from occurring again in the future.

Kardi’s actions here are so ridiculous and out of hand that they’re hard to comprehend and describe. What universe do you have to be from to think that running a goaltender is alright in the first place? That practice has been out of the league for decades, yet here’s Kadri making absolutely no effort to avoid heavy contact with Backstrom.

To make matters worse, he clearly intends to his the goaltender in the head with his elbow. This wasn’t an accident. This was intent to injure, and it’s the second time this month that the NHL has totally dropped the ball in defending a defenseless netminder.

If the league thought that the optics on Ray Emery’s assault on Braden Holtby were bad, the looks of this suspension are even worse. This is a forward taking a clear shot at a netminder’s head during a play, and Brendan Shanahan had a chance to make a statement here. Once again, he takes the easy way out and slaps the offending player on the wrist.

Three games and $44 grand isn’t going to get anyone’s attention. No one cares.

Kadri will still be able to go out his normal, everyday business by this time next week. Who knows how long Backstrom will be out after the clear and obvious head shot. For a league that wants to appear intent on getting BS plays like this out of the game, they sure don’t do a very good job of setting scary precedents.

And that’s what the NHL should be doing at this point. Scarring people. Making players think twice out on the ice, because this “the game is too fast” line has gone far enough. It’s total garbage.

How many people need to get hurt before Shanahan starts really laying down the law again? One of the first big suspensions of his stay as league principal was an eight-game ban for James Wisniewski for this play.

A clear and obvious head shot. A clear and obvious elbow. That hit got Wisniewski suspended for eight games. What happened to that kind of suspension? Because that’s the kind of number that scares people off. Suddenly teams are playing for a few weeks without of one of their top players and it hurts them in the standings. Suddenly players stop acting like three-year-old toddlers that can’t control their bodies and actions. Suddenly guys start to wise up.

Players lose millions of dollars in an eight-game ban, as opposed to what amount to pocket change for three-game deal.

It’s time for the NHL to get serious. The players have shown over and over and over and over again that they aren’t getting the message. The culture of the game isn’t changing, so it’s time for the league to take the initiative and up the ante before another career is ended on a hockey-less, gutless scumbag play like what Kadri did.

Tags: Nazem Kadri NHL Nicklas Backstrom Toronto Maple Leafs

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