|Nazem Kadri will start his pro career as a Marlie. (Craig Robertson/QMI Agency)
The worst kept secret in Toronto was made official Monday: Nazem Kadri is a Marlie.
Kadri and fellow forwards Luca Caputi and Christian Hanson were assigned to the Maple Leafs American Hockey League farm club along with goalie Jussi Rynnas.
“He’s not a dumb kid. He could see it coming,” general manager Brian Burke said.
Burke said Kadri took the news maturely when the two met at the Mastercard Centre Monday.
“I told him I had the same talk with Ryan Getzlaf four years ago,” said Burke, who was quick to point out that Kadri, despite all the hype surrounding him, is still just a 19-year-old kid.
“If I could go back to the draft in Montreal (in 2009) I would go out and pick Nazem Kadri again.
Burke was asked if Kadri’s ho-hum training camp was a byproduct of being in the hockey fishbowl that is Toronto.
“If the expectations are too much for you as a young player in Toronto, then you know you’ve drafted the wrong kid,” he said. “There are different demands when you are in a Canadian market. I think he’s handled things well.
“We think he is going to be a very good player for us. But we’ve said all along it wasn’t worth it for him to be here if he was not one of our top-six forwards. And at this point he is not.”
Meanwhile, defenceman Danny Richmond and forwards Jay Rosehill and Mike Zigomanis were placed on waivers today. Burke said Zigomanis will not be re-assigned to the Marlies should he clear.