In game two of the Toronto Maple Leafs first round series against the Boston Bruins, Nazem Kadri was given a game misconduct for cross-checking Jake DeBrusk:

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has called for an in-person meeting with Kadri ahead of Monday’s game three in Toronto.

Usually an in-person hearing amounts to a suspension of six or more games, but that’s the regular season. This could mean any length of suspension, and that the NHL’s offices are located in the office building attached to Scotiabank Arena.

The relevant section of the CBA on the meaning of an in-person hearing is:

18.9 In-Person Hearing (6 or More Games).

If the preliminary review indicates that a suspension of six (6) or more games may be appropriate and/or further investigation is required, an in-person hearing will be conducted as follows:

(a) The Player shall remain suspended while the investigation and hearing is being conducted.

(b) Prior to the hearing, and as soon as practicable after scheduling of the hearing, the League shall provide to the NHLPA, in accordance with Exhibit 3, with the following, if available: (i) video footage, (ii) written reports of on-ice officials and Officiating Managers, and (iii) written reports from a doctor(s) based on an examination of a Player involved in the incident in question, or written medical information from the Club concerning a Player involved in the incident in question if a doctor’s report is not available.

(c) The Player has a right to appear at an in-person hearing and may, with the assistance of a representative of his choosing, present evidence and argument in support of his position.

(d) Representatives of the Club and the NHLPA may also attend and participate in the hearing.


I can find nothing in the CBA to indicate these rules change at all for the playoffs.

Some things to consider:

  • The concept of “repeat offender status” is defined in the CBA for the purposes of determining which formula is used to calculate the amount of salary forfeited by a suspended player.
  • There are no salaries in the playoffs, so nothing is forfeited.
  • There are no rules or guidelines in the CBA on length of suspensions.
  • The Department of Player Safety has made public some of their internal guidelines and decision-making processes, but they are not required by the CBA to follow them.
  • The process of appeals to the Commissioner and to a neutral arbitrator is the only thing that regulates the fairness or consistency of suspension length.
  • There is no clear understanding of how or if a player’s prior actions will affect a suspension./

There likely have been suspensions given out after an offer of an in-person hearing that are less than six games, but they aren’t common. However, the current Department of Player Safety administration has made the statement in the past that one game suspended in the playoffs counts as two in the regular season in their view.

That said, it sure looks like the Leafs will be playing without Nazem Kadri for the next few games. All that’s left is to define few.

Last season Kadri was suspended three games in round one against the Bruins for a hit on Tommy Wingels:

We’ll know before puck drop on Monday what the result of the meeting is, and will keep you updated when the news comes out.

Emphasizing from the CBA quoted above:

(d) Representatives of the Club and the NHLPA may also attend and participate in the hearing.

This would mean we might not have the results before puck drop.