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Zadorov: NHL protecting 'investment' with Soucy suspension

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Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov spoke candidly on Tuesday about the Game 3 melee that resulted in Carson Soucy being suspended for cross-checking Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid.

"He's a big part of our team," Zadorov told reporters. "Obviously it's a big loss for us. ... At the end of the day, (the NHL has) to protect their investment. So that's my understanding of the situation."

Soucy is unavailable for Tuesday's Game 4 clash as he serves a one-game suspension. Zadorov was handed a $5,000 fine for his actions in the fracas.

Zadorov acknowledged a cut near his left eye from the end-of-game scrum as a result of a Zach Hyman cross-check. No Oilers players received supplemental discipline.

When Zadorov was asked why the league didn't protect him in the same way as McDavid, he answered, half-jokingly: "Well, I guess I don't make that much money for the league."

He added: "It's just an unlucky play. I got caught there, too. I mean, whatever. Move on. Game 4 today. Let it be."

The Canucks have a 2-1 series lead over the Oilers entering Game 4 in Edmonton.

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