Nikita Zadorov Rips NHL for Suspending Carson Soucy After Hit on Connor McDavid

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov / Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The postgame skirmish between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers after Game 3 resulted in the NHL dishing out a one-game suspension to Canucks defenseman Carson Soucy.

The incident in question occurred when Oilers superstar Connor McDavid appeared to slash Soucy after the final whistle of Vancouver's 4–3 win in Game 3. In retaliation, Soucy proceeded to cross-check McDavid square in the face. That retaliatory effort was bolstered by fellow Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov, who, in the same moment, hit McDavid in the back which caused him to fall forward into the incoming cross-check.

On Tuesday, Zadorov was asked his thoughts about the discipline handed down to his teammate, and he made clear he disagreed with the decision, which he felt was aimed to protect one of its star talents.

"They have to protect their investment," said Zadorov, via TSN's Ryan Rishaug. "That's my understanding."

McDavid, of course, is the investment Zadorov is referring to. Keeping him healthy and on the ice is likely a priority for the NHL during the postseason, as he's a major attraction for fans. Despite some dirty antics of his own leading up to the brutal cross-check from Soucy, McDavid was not disciplined by the league.

Game 4, which is set for Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. EST, figures to be a heated affair as tensions continue to rise between both sides.

Karl Rasmussen


Karl Rasmussen is a writer on Sports Illustrated’s Breaking & Trending News Team. A University of Oregon alum, his work has appeared on 12up and ClutchPoints. He’s a loyal Tottenham, Jets, Yankees and Ducks fan.