Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri has been suspended three games for boarding Boston Bruins forward Tommy Wingels in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal on Thursday night.
Kadri was sent off with a game misconduct and match penalty with 11:42 remaining in the third period after slamming the head of Wingels into the boards while he was already down on the ice. Wingels left the game and did not return.
The NHL Department of Player Safety announced the suspension, explaining in its video that Kadri “sees Wingels has fallen, and, with sufficient time to adjust his course or minimize the force, instead drives recklessly into the defenseless Wingles, causing his head to dangerously impact the boards.
“It is important to note that Kadri is in control of this hit at all times,” NHL disciplinarian George Parros said. “Instead of avoiding or minimizing this hit, Kadri drives his hip into Wingels’ upper body with enough force to cause Wingels to collide dangerously with the boards and cause himself to lift off the ice upon impact.”
Toronto’s Nazem Kadri suspended three games for boarding Boston’s Tommy Wingels. https://t.co/YKyNt1Kcu0
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 13, 2018
The loss of Kadri for three games is a big blow to a Maple Leafs team that dropped Game 1 by a score of 5-1. The 27-year-old ranked fourth on the team in the regular season with 55 points, tying his career high for goals (32) while adding 23 assists.
Without Kadri, Patrick Marleau moved to center on Toronto’s second line at Friday’s practice. Mitchell Marner remained alongside Marleau while Zach Hyman was moved up to fill the void left by Kadri.
Wingels is being evaluated after taking the hit, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Saturday night in Boston.
–Field Level Media