NHL Oilers’ Evander Kane suspended for Game 4 for Nazem Kadri hit

Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference finals Monday after he was assessed a one-game suspension for his hit that injured Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri in Game 3.

Kane received a five-minute major penalty for boarding after cross-checking Kadri from behind at 1:06 of the first period in Colorado’s 4-2 victory on Saturday in Edmonton.

“(Kadri is) out. He’ll be out for the series at least, if not longer,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “The hit, it’s the most dangerous play in hockey. (Kane) puts him in headfirst from behind, eight feet from the boards. I’ll leave it at that.”

A hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety earlier Sunday sealed Kane’s fate.

“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,” a Department of Player Safety official said in a video explaining the discipline. “This shove is delivered at a dangerous distance from the boards while the two players are traveling at speed and causes an injury.”

The official noted Kane’s history of discipline in the NHL. He has been suspended three times and fined twice over previous incidents. Kane received a three-game suspension for elbowing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk in February 2020.

Kane also was banned 21 games in September for violating the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 protocol, though that did not factor into Sunday’s decision.

Now the 30-year-old will miss Game 4 Monday night in Edmonton, with his team down 3-0 to Colorado.

Kane said Saturday that he “was just coming in on the backcheck.”

“The puck went wide, dribbled into the corner. I know (Kadri) likes to reverse hit, and I was just trying to get a bump on him. That’s really all I did. Unfortunately, he went into the boards awkwardly and hurt his hands. But that was unfortunate.”

Kane has recorded 17 points (13 goals, four assists) in 15 games in these playoffs. He had 39 points (22 goals, 17 assists) in 43 games during the regular season.

Kane has totaled 545 points (286 goals, 259 assists) in 812 career games with the Atlanta Thrashers/Jets franchise (2009-15), Buffalo Sabres (2015-18), San Jose Sharks (2018-21) and Oilers.

–Field Level Media

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