WATCH ABOVE: Nazem Kadri could be suspended for this headshot against Oilers’ forward Matt Fraser.
TORONTO – Troubled Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Nazem Kadri could be facing suspension again, this time by the department of NHL player safety for a headshot in Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Kadri, playing in his second game since returning from a team-mandated suspension, connected with Matt Fraser’s head 11 minutes into the third period, with the Leafs losing 4-1.
Kadri was skating behind his team’s net to play the puck when his left elbow connected with the right side of Fraser’s head. It’s not clear though whether Kadri meant to hit Fraser or was trying to get around him as Fraser turned.
Fraser immediately dropped to the ice and Kadri seemed to check whether the Oilers forward was ok, as a scuffle erupted around them.
“I don’t consider myself a dirty player,” Kadri told reporters following the game saying he felt his hands were down when he skated around the net.
Kadri was penalized and afterwards hit from behind by Oilers’ defenceman Andrew Ference. Shortly after that hit, Kadri, along with teammate Tyler Bozak, was assessed a game misconduct.
Kadri was suspended for a similar hit in November 2013. He was given a three-game suspension after a headshot to Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, and forfeited over $44,000 in salary.
The Leafs are nearing the end of a dismal season, sitting 15th in the Eastern Conference, over 20 points outside of the playoffs. They are currently on a three-game losing streak with Monday’s loss to the Oilers.