BOSTON, MA – The NHL Department of Player Safety announced late Thursday night that Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri will have a hearing Friday to determine if supplemental discipline is necessary for his hit on Bruins forward Tommy Wingels. The hit took place in the third period of Boston’s 5-1 win over Toronto in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series.
Toronto’s Nazem Kadri will have a hearing Friday for boarding/charging Boston’s Tommy Wingels.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 13, 2018
Kadri was ejected from the game 8:18 into the third period of his and it appears he may have to sit out of the series even longer. Kadri, who had already been called for boarding earlier in the game, took a run at and hit Wingels who was already kneeling on the ice and defenseless.
— Colin Beswick (@CBeswick) April 13, 2018
After the game, Kadri tried to defend the hit and admitted it was in retaliation for an uncalled high hit by Wingels on teammate Mitch Marner.
“Well, initially I just thought he made contact with Mitchy’s [Marner] head to start, and I didn’t see a call there,” Kadri said. “He was turning up the wall, so I was coming into the hit, and then he ended up falling. It happened pretty quick, and I think he was reaching for the puck. I haven’t really watched it yet, but I don’t think I stuck my leg out or my arm out, or whatever the case is, but it’s in the hands of the NHL at this point.”
His head coach Mike Babcock was excusing him and criticized Kadri for not having more discipline.
“Yeah, I don’t know. I haven’t looked at it enough either. So, I can’t really comment on that,” Babcock said. “We’ll let the league do what the league does. You know, the bottom line is, you always have to be disciplined at all times and emotions are a part of the game, but it’s got to be controlled.”
The majority of the Bruins didn’t want to comment on the hit too much and deferred to the DPS to decide Kadri’s fate, but Sean Kuraly – who had a goal in Game 1 – took a subtle jab at the Leafs pest when asked if Kadri is an honest player?
“That’s a tough question,” Kuraly said. “You don’t like to see anyone hit anyone from behind, that’s just not something that you like to see and it shouldn’t be a part of the game.”