Heading to the net, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri ran over Minnesota Wild goatender Niklas Backstrom in a play that earned the winger a three-game suspension.

Rookie referee Trent Knorr (#44) called Kadri immediately for a minor for goaltender interference.  He missed the fact that it was a headshot — Kadri should’ve likely recieved a match penalty.  Of course, that’s a tough call to make, especially for a rookie official who was refereeing his first NHL game.

After two minutes, Kadri was back on the ice.  Backstrom did not return to the game; he’s believed to have suffered a concussion on the play and is out indefinitely.

TSN analyst and former referee Kerry Fraser called the play “unnecessary, senseless, irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous.”

Kadri would eventually get kicked out of the game for a headshot.  That didn’t happen until the third period, though, when he laid a high hit on Minnesota’s Mikael Granlund.

NHL VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan called the hit on Backstrom “a direct and forceful blow to backstrom’s head from Kadri’s forearm that cause[d] a serious injury.”   See for yourself:

    Here’s the official release from the NHL:

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri has been suspended for three games, without pay, for interference with Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom during NHL Game No. 274 in Minnesota on Wednesday, Nov. 13, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 7:07 of the first period. Kadri received a minor penalty for goaltender interference.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Kadri will forfeit $44,615.37 The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.