Canucks Defenseman Faces Hearing for Illegal Head Hit

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov faces a hearing for an illegal hit on Detroit’s Lucas Raymond, marking his potential first punishment by the player safety department, amidst a season where he’s on track to break his penalty minute record and after being traded from Calgary to Vancouver.

Tonight, Nikita Zadorov, the defenseman for the Vancouver Canucks, is on the hot seat. He’s facing a hearing for a hit that didn’t sit well with the powers that be. This wasn’t just any hit; it was illegal, targeting the head of Detroit Red Wings’ winger Lucas Raymond. And it happened right in the thick of things—halfway through Vancouver’s Saturday game against Detroit. For this, Zadorov got slapped with a match penalty.

Now, Zadorov isn’t exactly a newbie. At 28, he’s been around. But here’s the kicker—he’s never been in trouble with the department of player safety before. Up to now, his record’s been clean. On the ice this season with the Canucks, he’s managed four assists in 27 games. Not too shabby. And before that? He played 21 games for the Calgary Flames, bagging six points.

But here’s where things get a bit dicey. Zadorov’s not just making plays; he’s also making trips to the penalty box. A lot of them. He’s racked up 83 penalty minutes this season alone. That’s just a stone’s throw away from his personal worst of 103 minutes back in 2017-18. When it comes to sitting out, Zadorov’s becoming a pro. Over three seasons with the Flames, he outdid everyone in penalty minutes. Yes, even the likes of Milan Lucic and Andrew Mangiapane.

Then, in a late November twist, the Canucks decided they wanted Zadorov on their team. They struck a deal with Calgary, trading away a third and a fifth pick for him. With Vancouver, he’s been holding down the fort as a second-pairing defenseman, mostly teaming up with Tyler Myers.

But that’s not the end of the story between Calgary and Vancouver. They went on to trade forwards Elias Lindholm and Andrei Kuzmenko. Vancouver sweetened the deal with a first-round pick, a conditional fourth-round pick, and two prospects. Lindholm, now with Vancouver, has hit the ground running. He’s already netted two goals in his first three games, playing on the team’s top line.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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