The hit on Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom Wednesday night now has consequences. Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri was suspended three games Thursday by the NHL’s department of player safety for his first-period hit to the head to Backstrom.
Initially Kadri received a two-minute goaltender interference penalty for the play Wednesday and later was given a match penalty for a high hit on Mikael Granlund in the third period of the Wild’s 2-1 shootout victory.
As part of his suspension, Kadri will forfeit $44,615.37 which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The NHL determined while the hit was not intentional, Kadri was suspended because he was in “complete control” during the hit, and because of a “direct and forceful blow to the head that caused a serious injury.”
“That’s what we’re trying to get rid of,” Zach Parise said Wednesday of Kadri’s hit on Backstrom.
Wild coach Mike Yeo’s only comment Wednesday on Kadri’s hit was, “obviously you’re never a fan of that.”
Kadri was charging to the net on the play and delivered a hard hit to Backstrom’s head. Backstrom took a few seconds to get up and remained in the game for three minutes before exiting.
Backstrom is out indefinitely. Yeo said he would not suit up for the team’s home game against the Florida Panthers on Friday, but said it’s not known how much time he will miss.