January 20, 2013
Leafs' Nazem Kadri off to a flying start
Credit maturity for his success
By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

Leafs' Nazem Kadri tangles with Alexei Emelin of the Canadiens Saturday in Montreal. Kadri looks like he's with the team to stay. (Martin Chevalier/QMI AGENCY)

TORONTO - The way Nazem Kadri performed at camp and played in the Leafs' opener in Montreal, it looks like he's here to stay.

That’s great for the young man and for anxious Leafs fans who have been waiting for the 2009 seventh overall pick to blossom into an everyday NHL player.

But there seems to be this school of thought that it was big, bad Ron Wilson to blame for Kadri’s slower than expected progression as a big-league player and for his frequent demotions to the Marlies the past couple of seasons. Which is a lot of hooey. Yes, the former Leafs coach threw the London, Ont., native under the bus with his public criticisms of Kadri’s decision-making with the puck and defensive play (or lack thereof). But the reason why Kadri has taken a step in the right direction this season has more to do with his maturity as a player, and not because new coach Randy Carlyle is his new best buddy.



CANOE.CA SLAM!