The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Sunday that Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane will be suspended for Game Four of the Western Conference Final due to his dangerous boarding of Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri in Game Three.
It was announced almost immediately postgame on Saturday that Kadri was injured on the play and would miss “at least” the rest of the series. Reports indicate that he left Rogers Place with a cast and has a suspected broken thumb.
The hit came just moments after Connor McDavid gave the Oilers a lead 38 seconds into the first period of what was basically a must-win for the Oilers. The Avs did not strike on the ensuing five-minute power play but did end up taking Game Three by a 4-2 score. Kadri only skated 37 seconds of ice time.
“Before either player can touch the puck, Kane raises his stick and delivers a shove to the back of Kadri, driving him into the boards with force and causing an injury,” the DoPS video explains. “This is boarding. It is important to note that this is not a scenario in which Kadri puts himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to the hit in a way that turns a legal check into an illegal one.”
“While we acknowledge that Kadri positions himself in front of Kane in order to shield the puck, this action is not a sudden or sharp movement that changes the nature of Kane’s hit in a way that he cannot control. And while we acknowledge Kane’s argument that Kadri loses his footing as he approaches the boards, we believe that this is a direct result of the shove and is not an unavoidable occurrence that causes an unfortunate accident. This shove is delivered at a dangerous distance from the boards while the two players are traveling at speed and causes an injury.”
Kane has been suspended three times and fined twice by the league prior to this incident. He is the current leading goal scorer in the 2022 playoffs with 13 goals from 15 games played.
Colorado will go for the series sweep and a chance to move on to the Stanley Cup Final on Monday as Game Four kicks off in Edmonton at 8 PM ET.
Press release from the league:
Kane of Oilers suspended one game for boarding in Western Final
NEW YORK – Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane has been suspended for one game for boarding Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri during Game 3 of the Western Conference Final in Edmonton on Saturday, June 4, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
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