Found November 14, 2013 on Fox Sports North:
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Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri has been suspendedfor three games for his hit on Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom.The incident occurred in Minnesotas overtime win Wednesdaynight. Backstrom was knocked out of the game and is likely out for Fridaysgame.The NHL announced the suspension after a hearing with Kadrion Thursday. He was suspended three games for the hit on Backstrom, which drewa goaltender interference penalty, but Kadri also had a questionable hit oncenter Mikael Granlund later in the game that drew a match penalty.Obviously, you're never a fan of that, Wild coach Mike Yeosaid after the game. The league's done a good job of addressing those thingsso we'll just leave it at that.The league handed out the suspension even though it ruledthe hit on Backstrom not to be an intentional act. In the video released by theNHLs department of player safety, the league said the collision with Backstromwas elevated to suspension level because Kadri was in control of the play andit was a direct and forceful blow.After tipping a shot, Kadri collided with Backstrom and hiselbow made contact with the goalies head.While we accept Kadris assertion that this was notintentional, he still bears the responsibility for avoiding, or at least makinga better attempt to avoid and minimize contact such as this, the leagueannounced in the video. He does neither.Backstrom was motionless on the ice for a few minutes and,though he initially stayed in the game, was replaced by Josh Harding twominutes later. After the game, Yeo said Backstrom had an upper-body injury.Kadri has never been fined or suspended previously, and willforfeit 44,615.37 for the suspension.Hes a good player, Wild forward Jason Pominville saidafter the game. He usually doesnt run around like that. Obviously, Im surethe hit will probably get looked at. We dont really agree with those types ofhits, and thats what I feel were trying to get out of the game. Its not upto us to make those decisions. The league will take a look at it and go fromthere.Its usually not his style of play. Hes a pretty honestplayer that works hard and has got talent. It was kind of surprising it camefrom him.Minnesota is now likely without Backstrom, at least in theshort term.Backstrom wasnt on the ice for the teams practice onThursday, and Yeo said he wouldnt be in uniform for Friday nights home game.I dont have a diagnosis yet for you, Yeo said Thursday.Granlund was also out of practice on Thursday, which wasoptional, but Yeo didnt seem concerned that Granlund would miss time.Obviously with those things youre not in the clear for acouple days here, but we expect him to be fine, Yeo said.Yeo took issue with the claim that his team didnt respondphysically to the hits by Kadri, and said the team responded in the way itneeded to.Where we have to be better is on the power play, Yeo saidThursday. Teams have to be afraid to try to pull that crap on us, so thattheyre fearful of our power play. But at the same time what I like is that ourguys continued to play the game.Ill take exception with anybody that tries to call ussoft, because thats not true. Where wed be soft is if they tried to have aphysical impact on us. As far as Im concerned, we kind of raised our game.That to me is tough. Its a different type of tough. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter
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