With the news of Nazem Kadri’s three-game suspension for boarding, the issue of the history, not of Kadri but of Player Safety, will inevitably arise. Is this an unusually long suspension for the playoffs?
Using Wikipedia’s lists of NHL suspensions, this is all that included playoff games for the last few years:
- Drew Doughty, one game for an illegal check to the head
- Nick Ritchie, two games for roughing (Only one game was post-season)
- Matt Calvert, one game for cross-checking
- Duncan Keith, six games for high-sticking (Only one game was post-season)
- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, one game for checking from behind
- Andrew Shaw, one game for speaking a homophobic slur to an official
- Brayden Schenn, three games for charging
- Brooks Orpik, three games for interference
- Kris Letang, one game for interference
Stephane Quintal was permanent head of Player Safety in this year.
- Niklas Kronwall, one game for charging
Brendan Shanahan left Player Safety in early April of 2014, and Stephane Quintal took over as acting head.
- Mike Rupp, four games for an illegal check to the head (Only three games were post-season)
- Brent Seabrook, three games for charging
- Matt Cooke, seven games for kneeing
- Brandon Bollig, two games for boarding
- Daniel Carcillo was suspended for 10 games for abuse of official, but that suspension falls under different rules.
- Brandon Prust, two games for interference
- John Moore, two games for illegal check to the head
- Andrew Ference, one game for an illegal hit to the head
- Eric Gryba, two games for an illegal hit to the head
- Justin Abdelkader, two games for charging
- Raffi Torres, remainder of playoffs for an illegal hit to the head
- Duncan Keith, one game for high-sticking
Brendan Shanahan had just taken over the job, which was not yet called Player Safety, for this season.
- Byron Bitz, two games of boarding
- Carl Hagelin, three games for elbowing
- Matt Carkner, one game for “aggressing an unwilling Brian Boyle”
- Andrew Shaw, three games for charging a goaltender
- Craig Adams, one game for receiving an instigator penalty in the last five minutes of the game
- James Neal, one game for charging
- Arron Asham, four games for cross-checking
- Nicklas Backstrom, one game for cross-checking
- Raffi Torres, 25 games for a late charge to the head
- Rostislav Klesla, one game for boarding
- Claude Giroux, one game for an illegal hit to the head
- Martin Hanzal, one game for boarding
- Brandon Prust, one game for elbowing
If all our short memories can recall is last year, this suspension seems extreme, but relative to Shanahan’s first year, and Quintal’s first year, the length is not unprecedented at all. It is an interesting co-incidence that now we have George Parros, in his first year, give out a multi-game suspension to a top-line player. Only time will tell if his subsequent years on the job show the same pattern of dwindling penalties.