Wilson: Calm down on Kadri speculation

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Should he stay or should he go?

Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson knows that whatever he decides regarding the team's top draft pick Nazem Kadri, he will be second-guessed by the masses.

"It I keep Kadri (some will say) it's stupid, if I send him down it's a stupid decision," Wilson said yesterday following the team's morning practice. "I can live with that. I'll make a stupid decision and we'll move on."

To this point, the public stance from the team has been that Kadri will be returned to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League once the regular season begins.

But Kadri's tying goal late in regulation against Pittsburgh and his highlight-reel goal in the shootout has Leafs fans in a fever. What they might not have noticed were the times Kadri was thumped into the boards by much bigger opponents than he will face in junior.

Wilson often has stated that Kadri needs to get bigger before he is ready to play in the NHL.

"I beg everybody just to put things in perspective," Wilson said with regard to the play of the young prospects thus far in training camp.

Captain McCabe

Former Leafs defenceman Bryan McCabe was named the captain of the Florida Panthers yesterday. Cory Stillman and Stephen Weiss will wear the A.

"The selection of Bryan as the captain of our club was something that became obvious to our staff after working with him for the past year," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said.

Quick hits

The Leafs practice today before finishing off the pre-season with games tomorrow in Detroit and Saturday and Sunday at home against the Red Wings and Sabres respectively ... Wilson is still hoping defencemen Jeff Finger and Mike Van Ryn will get in the lineup at some point in the final three remaining pre-season contests. "Ultimately we'd like to see them get more games," Wilson said of the injured pair. "That's the way it goes in training camp. We're lucky we have so many defencemen here."

ROB.LONGLEY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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