Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri says he’s frustrated about how his season came to an end, but is the first to admit how important player safety is to the league. (Sportsnet.ca)
Nazem Kadri’s season is over.
The Maple Leafs centre was suspended Monday for four games, without pay, for cross-checking Detroit Red Wings forward Luke Glendening during Saturday’s game.
Kadri, considered a repeat offender, will forfeit about $200,000 (U.S.) in salary, money that goes to the league’s player assistance fund. He will miss the Leafs’ last four games, starting with Monday night’s game against the Florida Panthers.
Kadri had 17 goals and 28 assists in 76 games and will likely end the season as the Leafs’ points leader.
The incident with Glendening occurred in the second period of an eventual 3-2 loss when the Wings forward knocked Kadri’s helmet off in the offensive zone. Kadri’s cross-check left the Detroit centre down on the ice briefly.
Kadri was assessed a two-minute penalty for cross-checking.
Leafs head coach Mike Babcock felt Kadri initially targeted Glendening’s arm following a battle in the corner, with his check riding up into the shoulder and head area.
“You’ve got to command your fair share of the ice if you’re going to play hard,” Babcock said Monday. “You can’t cross-check people in the head. You’re allowed to cross-check them in the meat of the arm though.”
Just last week, Kadri was cited for three instances of diving and fined $5,000.
The Leafs recalled Rich Clune for the Marlies on Monday to replace Kadri.