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The Morning After The Night Before: 7 November 2016

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No links today. Today, we look at Nazem Kadri’s history of dirty plays, and question why the NHL isn’t doing anything about it.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

I am still fuming over the Department of ‘Player Safety’ and its pathetic ruling over Nazem Kadri’s blind-sided headshot to Daniel Sedin.

Apparently, blind-side hits are legal.

Apparently, grazing the shoulder on the way to hitting Daniel’s head full on, knocking his helmet off and sending Daniel crashing to a violent head smash on the ice, means it was not a headshot.

So today, instead of looking at stories from around the league, we look at the decision-making at the DoPS - with specific regard to Nazem Kadri’s career - and expose them for what they are. Which is categorically, emphatically, 100% certifiably NOT interested in player safety.

Let’s begin.

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EXHIBIT A: NAZEM KADRI ON DANIEL SEDIN
RULING: CLEAN HIT

We all know what happened, but I want to lay the evidence out for everyone to see.

The video evidence shows Kadri look for the hit, size Daniel up, go for the hit, leave his skates during the hit to deliver better impact, and also shows that he only grazed Daniel’s shoulder as he drove through the thin layer of jersey and straight into Daniel’s head.

There was no ‘body’ there Mr Shannon. It was like when you wipe your ass and accidentally get something on your index finger. Entirely co-incidental and not intended.

This is the voice of the National Hockey League. Does this not concern ANYONE? The league is in the midst of a concussion lawsuit, it has attempted (and failed) to curb blind-side hits in the past, and now blind-side hits are called legal? We’re heading into dangerous territory here.

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EXHIBIT B: BRAD MALONE ON NICK FOLIGNO
RULING: CLEAN HIT

This is the one mentioned as the closest comparator to the hit on Daniel. It does look identical - until you slow it down. The hit was predatory, with the head taking the majority of the impact. It was, however, still much cleaner than Kadri’s hit.

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EXHIBIT C: NAZEM KADRI ON MATT FRASER
RULING: FOUR GAME SUSPENSION

Look at this one. Yes, there was definitely no body contact. The head is the only point of contact. But the force of the hit looks the same as the one against Daniel, and is the impact any different? Fraser’s lid stayed on.

Player had the puck? CHECK
Blind-side? CHECK
Head takes most of the impact? CHECK
Clear intent to hit that area of the player? CHECK
Avoidable? CHECK

According to the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety, this hit was deemed worthy of a four game suspension because Kadri didn’t graze past Fraser’s shoulder before planting his shoulder into his head at great speed.

Forget what I said about consistency.

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EXHIBIT D: NAZEM KADRI ON BRAD MARCHAND
RULING: CLEAN HIT

See the theme here? Kadri has a history of dirty hits, and also has a history of being absolved of any blame. The NHL should be looking at Kadri’s highlight reel of bad hits and giving him an education plan.

Moral of the story? No-one loves a blind-side hit more than Nazem Kadri. Toronto fans would say ‘the player needs to keep his head up’; I would say ‘Kadri needs to stop hitting unsuspecting players in the head’.

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EXHIBIT E: NAZEM KADRI ON LUKE GLENDENING
RULING: FOUR GAME SUSPENSION

This was minor league stuff compared to the hits above. Kadri took offense to Glendening giving him a couple of bumps, and a push to the head (after he’d been pushed to the ice himself), and took it upon himself to unleash himself at Glendening’s head. Watch from the 3 minute mark:

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I haven’t even touched on the fines Kadri has received for diving - another act that fans hate. What we have here is a player who plays hard, which is actually what we as fans want to see. Kadri has undoubted talent - look at what he did to McDavid the other day. But what no-one in this league wants to see is players being hit in the head. Players being hit blind-side. Players being lined up for retribution.

No-one in this league except for the Department of Player Safety, that is. With two prior suspensions for hits to the head, and the Marchand hit in his pocket, Kadri was ripe for a warning shot across the bow from Pronger and co. Instead, blind-side hits are now ruled legal, and hits to the head are fully permissable as long as you hit some other part of the body first.

Congratulations, Department of Player Safety. You are officially worse now than before you even existed.

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Question of the day? Why is Nazem Kadri not being punished effectively for his predatory hitting?