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Blatant Homerism

Nazem Kadri to have phone hearing over hit on Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (vids)


In night filled with questionable hits, one in particular during a rough and tumble tilt between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center appears to have drawn the attention of the NHL.

With thirteen minutes remaining in the first period, Leafs center Nazem Kadri absolutely trucked Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom in the crease, not only colliding with the goalie, but appearing to connect with an elbow to Backstrom’s head.

Backstrom remained on the ice for some time and eventually left the game shortly afterward, replaced by Josh Harding.

The contact drew a two-minute goalie interference penalty, but for his antics, Kadri seems to have run afoul of the NHL, as he reportedly will take part in a telephone hearing on Thursday and will be subject to some level of discipline, which arguably will include — and warrant– a suspension of some length.

But Kadri’s tiptoeing along the line of hard-nosed play and being a cheap shot artist didn’t end there, as he received a match penalty and was ejected from the game after delivering an elbow to the head of Wild forward Mikael Granlund during the third period.

Reports indicate that Kadri will not be hearing from the NHL about the Granlund hit, but in all likelihood, given the borderline cheapness of his actions on the ice on Wednesday, probably deserved to.

Videos of both incidents follow.


And Kadri’s hit on Granlund that earned him the heave-ho:

Both coaches discussed one of the hits following the game.

“It’s beyond me the five-minute major. I just looked at it. He made initial contact with the shoulder and the kid had the head down,” said Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle. “(Kadri) didn’t have his arms up and he ran into the player and Granlund snapped his head back. Obviously the referee’s saw it differently and obviously when it’s a five-minute match penalty it’ll be reviewed.”

“Obviously, you’re never a fan of that,” Wild head coach Mike Yeo said, commenting on the hit on Backstrom. “The League’s done a good job of addressing those things, so we’ll just leave it at that.”

Indeed. It’s likely the Maple Leafs will be missing Kadri, probably for at least two games.

The Wild beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in the shootout.