Path cleared for Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri

Nazem Kadri (left) and David Steckel (20) take part in a Maple Leafs scrimmage. Kadri appears set...

Nazem Kadri (left) and David Steckel (20) take part in a Maple Leafs scrimmage. Kadri appears set to get every opportunity to stay with the big club this season. (JACK BOLAND/QMI AGENCY)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:44 PM ET

The training wheels are off.

No more cameos or tryouts or filling in for injured forwards.

And the best news of all for Nazem Kadri is that the highly touted and always overly scrutinized Maple Leafs prospect appears to be set up to succeed rather than fail for the first time in his NHL career.

With the team clearing out deadbeat centres Matthew Lombardi and Tim Connolly in less than 24 hours, the message couldn’t have been made any clearer for the Leafs first-round choice (seventh overall) in the 2009 entry draft.


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