TORONTO - Attention in the yard, NHL prisoner No. TML-43 is now released.
Just don’t expect Nazem Kadri to fully change his stripes now that he has done hard time under a ‘Shanaban’.
Kadri will be activated for the Maple Leafs’ home game against Nashville on Thursday night, maintaining there was no malicious intent in clobbering Minnesota Wild goalie Nicklas Backstrom, which landed him a three-game suspension. He also knows what helped put him in the league as a first-round pick, a style that belies his 188 pounds and made him an eager young henchman on a team that preaches belligerence.
“I guess I’m on probation now,” Kadri said in a half-joking manner after Wednesday’s practice at the MasterCard Centre. “Sometimes I like to use that physical play to get myself into the game when things maybe aren’t going so well, but in the past I’ve never had an incident like that where my hits are questioned.”
Backstrom, a huge part of the Wild, is on IR with a concussion. Minnesota, which won the game in a shootout, had a record of 2-1 since the injury prior to Wednesday’s game in Ottawa.