In today’s News & Notes, Nazem Kadri has been suspended, the Philadelphia Flyers have hired Alain Vigneault as their head coach, the Nashville Predators will be without Wayne Simmonds and Brian Boyle for a while and Joe Thornton will have a hearing for an illegal check to the head.
Kadri Suspended for Remainder of the First Round
The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Kadri for the remainder of the first round of the playoffs as the veteran forward has been suspended by the NHL for an illegal crosscheck to the head of Boston Bruins’ forward Jake DeBrusk. The hit in question came after the two forwards continuously attacked each other throughout the game stemming from Kadri’s attacks on DeBrusk in Game 1 and in the 2018 Postseason.
This is unfortunate for the Maple Leafs as Kadri has now been suspended twice in as many postseasons for illegal contact with an opponents head. While Kadri had a legitimate gripe with DeBrusk for what the NHL feels was accidental knee-on-knee contact, there’s still no room for making such vicious head contact in the league.
Vigneault Hired By Flyers
The Flyers have hired Vigneault to be their new head coach, completing the search that took place following the firing of Dave Hakstol a few months ago. Vigneault will join a Flyers team looking for consistency after missing the playoffs every second season dating back to 2012.
“We are extremely excited to have Alain join this franchise and lead our team behind the bench for many years to come,” said general manager Chuck Fletcher. “He brings a tremendous amount of success over an extended period of time that will prove valuable to our team to take the next steps in returning the winning culture to the Philadelphia Flyers organization.”
The Flyers have one of the best prospect pools in the NHL and Vigneault will inherit it as he looks to restore a winning culture to Philadelphia hockey.
Simmonds & Boyle Considered Week to Week
The Predators will be without two key players for a while as the team announced that both Simmonds and Boyle would be out and considered week to week. Simmonds left Game 2 between the Predators and Dallas Stars in the first period after taking a puck to the knee and Boyle missed Game 2 altogether due to illness and having an appendix procedure.
This is significant for the Predators who acquired both Simmonds and Boyle prior to the Trade Deadline. The Predators and Stars series is tied at one win apiece and this is a massive skew in favor of the Stars. The Predators remain one of the best teams in the NHL and should be able to hold on despite these injuries but they still hurt all the same.
The Predators and Stars are set to face off Monday night for Game 3.
Thornton to Have Hearing With NHL Department of Player Safety
The San Jose Sharks could be without Jumbo Joe for a few games as the veteran center is scheduled to have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Saftey on Monday following an illegal check to the head of Vegas Golden Knights’ forward Tomas Nosek.
Thornton was assessed a two-minute penalty on the play but the expectation was that he would be getting a call from the Department of Player Safety considering how dangerous and senseless the hit was. There’s no place in the game for a hit like this and Thornton could ultimately end up hurting his team with this hit.