In other news Nazem Kadri, the Leafs most promising prospect, has also been called up to play tonight against underwear model Ryan Kesler and his Vancouver Canucks. Or as some Leaf fans have expressed, he has been demoted.
The best line I have seen on Twitter is from Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada: “Kadri call up means Toronto isn't pressing panic button. It means organization is jumping on it with both feet.”
In my mind Kadri should have made the team out of training camp. Stick him on the 3rd line and let him make mistakes and learn what it takes to be a NHL player. Give him a little PP time and let him help you win in the shootout. There is a lot less pressure if he is just your 3rd line rookie. Or, would you rather see the other 3rd and 4th line plugs the Leafs have playing right now.
Kadri has shown he can score and put the puck in the net from his preseason games this year and last, but Ron Wilson had said all along that if Kadri couldn’t make the top 6 in training camp, that he wouldn’t make the team. So now the Leafs are bringing him up when the team hasn’t won in 7, and with only one win in 11 games. Talk about putting the pressure on your 20 year old prospect.
Kadri was pretty solid points wise in the AHL with 14 points in 14 games. But let’s not get that excited over guys that put up points in the AHL. Mike Zigomanis has put up 9 pts in 6 games so far with the Marlies, and Keith Aucoin is the Sidney Crosby of the the AHL. Have you ever heard of him?
Burke likes to say that he had Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry down in the AHL for a little seasoning and get them used to professional hockey. There is no way those two players should have started in the minors. They both dominated the league with Getzlaf putting up 33 pts in 17 games and Perry almost scoring a goal a game with 16 goals and 34 pts in 19 games, and they both were physically ready to play in the NHL.
We all know Brian Burke was an AHLer, it just seems like he wants players to start in the minors and get to know that riding the bus is not that fun. But isn’t that what most of the younger players did when they played junior hockey?
Regardless, Brian Burke has made it clear that he is in charge:
This begs the question: "What is a bus driver doing managing the Toronto Maple Leafs?"I drive the bus, I decide who gets on the bus, I decide who gets off the bus. If the bus is stuck in the ditch, then ultimately that’s my responsibility" - Brian Burke addressing the media
I just think that you need to bring up younger players slowly and not rush them into top six forward minutes. I can see why this organization hasn’t had many young studs come up with all the pressure of the media and fans in this city, the spotlight is always on them everywhere they go. Rookies come up and have the deer in the headlights look from the minute they arrive and the minute they are traded or sent back down. Let’s just hope Nazem Kadri is not the next Toronto Maple Leafs hood ornament.