Help is not on the way for the suddenly-reeling Colorado Avalanche.
TSN's Darren Dreger is reporting that an independent arbitrator has ruled in favor of upholding Nazem Kadri's eight-game suspension for his blindside hit on Justin Faulk in Game 2 of Colorado's first-round series versus the St. Louis Blues.
That means Kadri, who has now exhausted his options when trying to shorten the lengthy ban handed down by George Parros and the department of player safety, will not be available until a potential Game 7 versus the Vegas Golden Knights.
Kadri's initial appeal to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was denied.
Now for a third time in four seasons, Kadri is at risk of having his postseason end while ineligible to participate on the ice. Kadri earned his ticket out of town while a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs for receiving back-to-back suspensions that would outlast or at least match his team's postseason run.
As it did in his time with Toronto, Kadri's unavailability is beginning to loom large. The Golden Knights' second line — or the original misfits of Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson — has began to feast on middle-six competition as the West Division final has progressed.
For Colorado, the disadvantages in depth served as the strongest contributing factor to the back-to-back losses suffered in Vegas, which evened the series after the Avalanche opened the playoffs with six straight victories.
The Avalanche must win one of the next two games in order for Kadri's fate to not be sealed the same way it has been twice before, but there has to be concern over the veteran center entering the most competitive and highest-level series of the entire postseason cold in a Game 7.
Regardless, Kadri is once again in serious danger of having a brainless decision contribute to spoiling his team's chances at progressing through the postseason and meeting its potential for a third time in the last four seasons.
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