Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri has decided to appeal the eight-game suspension that he received earlier this week for an illegal hit on St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (Twitter link). He has already served the first two games (the second of which was Sunday) so the process will need to move fairly quickly for him to have a chance of having any games shaved off.
The process can go through two separate stages. The first is a hearing with Commissioner Gary Bettman, who can decide whether or not to uphold the eight-game ruling or to reduce it. If Bettman opts to uphold it, Kadri can then appeal to have it heard by a neutral discipline arbitrator. Notably, this is the route Washington’s Tom Wilson took to have his 20-game suspension reduced to 14 back in 2018. However, it’s worth noting that this process takes some time; it was 13 days between Wilson’s hearing for the arbitrator to issue a ruling while taking a month after the incident took place to have a hearing. If this was to follow a similar timeline if it gets that far, Kadri’s entire suspension would have been served, and a ruling would only reduce the absence on paper, if at all.
While the NHLPA is initiating this process through Kadri’s request, Line Movement’s Nick Kypreos reports (Twitter link) that Kadri is likely to hire outside counsel as well for his hearing. Players don’t always go that route, but he will have ample representation for his hearing with Bettman, which will likely take place over the next few days.