Oilers’ Evander Kane suspended for Game 4; Avalanche moves on without Nazem Kadri for potential series-clinching sweep

EDMONTON, Alberta — Oilers left wing Evander Kane and Avalanche center Nazem Kadri will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the teams because of suspension and injury, respectively.

Kane was assessed a one-game suspension by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Sunday for his check from behind that sent Kadri crashing into the end boards early in Colorado’s 4-1 victory in Game 3 on Saturday night at Rogers Place. Kane was issued a boarding major on the play and Kadri suffered what is believed to be a broken right thumb.

Edmonton’s Evander Kane has been suspended for one game for Boarding Colorado’s Nazem Kadri. https://t.co/1zUiUo0LZb

— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) June 5, 2022

The Avs, who take a commanding 3-0 lead in the seven-game series into Monday’s Game 4, are calling it an upper-body injury and Kadri could miss the rest of the postseason.

Colorado coach Jared Bednar on Sunday declined to confirm or deny reports that Kadri has a broken thumb.

Vegas center Jack Eichel played the last six weeks of the regular season with a broken thumb, Golden Knights executive George McPhee said last month.

“It was non-displaced, so he didn’t have to have surgery, but it was a bad fracture, and the guy didn’t miss a game,” McPhee said of Eichel.

Before Kane’s suspension was announced, Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said he didn’t deserve any further discipline.

“I wish (Kadri) the best. To me, we’ve seen that play, that type of hockey play occur during the playoffs and it’s unfortunate someone got hurt,” he said. “We took a five-minute penalty and we’re able to kill it off.”

He added: “We’ve seen those type of hockey plays here in the playoffs. It’s unfortunate he lost his balance and Nazem was injured. But for me, we did a good job of killing that five-minute penalty.”

Avs coach Jared Bednar said of Kadri after Game 3. “The hit — it’s the most dangerous play in hockey. He puts him in (the wall) headfirst from behind, eight feet off the boards. I’ll leave it at that.”

Bednar on Sunday didn’t have much more to say: “I think it’s a dangerous hit.”

Winger Mikko Rantanen is a candidate to replace Kadri as the second-line center in Game 4, allowing J.T. Compher — who stepped up for Kadri immediately after the injury — can remain as the third-line center. Colorado could also promote natural center Alex Newhook to second-line center and bring in Nicolas Aube-Kuble as a third-line winger.

Rantanen was expecting Kane to get suspended during Colorado’s optional practice on Sunday.

“Those are the things that you learn when you’re younger that you don’t do,” Rantanen said. “Just a dangerous play and I hope the league will make the right decision, which everybody probably knows what it should be.”

Avs goalie Pavel Francouz was the closest player to witness the hit. “It could have been a way worse outcome for Naz,” he said. “Really lucky in that situation. And I think it’s totally suspendable.”

Kane spoke to Edmonton reporters after the game. “I …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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