Zadorov weighs in on the NHL’s fine and suspension of Canucks players

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Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov is never afraid to speak his mind.

The 6-foot-6 bruiser always has something to say. That’s why it was so surprising when he wasn’t available to the media after practice in Edmonton yesterday.

Everyone wanted to hear the player’s opinion on the crowding after Game 3, for which he was fined $5,000. Judging by today’s answers, he just needed some time to collect his thoughts.

“I’ve been thinking for a few days,” Zadorov began about his fine and teammate Carson Soucy’s suspension. “Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. Sometimes social media and public opinion can cause certain people to make difficult decisions and, at the end of the day, make questionable decisions. That’s how I see it.”

“I had no intention of hurting anyone. I saw my teammate being slashed, I had to intervene. I’ve been doing this for 11 years,” Zadorov continued. “It’s just an unfortunate move, I was cut off too. Anyway, move on, Game 4 today, let it be.”

The two Canucks involved in the scrum both received additional disciplinary action, but neither Oilers star, Zach Hyman or Connor McDavid, was fined or suspended.

“At the end of the day, they have to protect their investment, so that’s my understanding in this situation,” the Canucks defenseman continued, hinting at a possible preference for McDavid, the face of the league.

Zadorov had stitches around his eye due to a cross-check from Hyman in the scrum. When asked why the league wasn’t protecting him the way he suggested McDavid would, he responded quickly.

“I guess I don’t make that much money for the league, I don’t know,” he said before changing his tone. “I mean, it’s a hockey game, there’s a lot of sticks, it’s hard to see.”

The two teams face off in the deciding Game 4 tonight, with the Canucks holding a slim 2-1 lead in the series. The atmosphere is sure to be electric as the series becomes more physical and the animosity between the two sides continues to grow.