Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Saviour Is Here: Keith Aulie Called Up By Leafs

Keith Aulie has finally been called up to the big club. Look for him to be part of the 3rd defensive pairing with either former Stanley Cup winner Brett Lebda or Carl Gunnarsson.

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:
"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
This begs the question: "What is a bus driver doing managing the Toronto Maple Leafs?

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.


  1. love the Billy Madison clip. No yelling on the bus!

  2. Good job boys, headline Aulie to take some of the pressure off of move

  3. "Everybody on, good, great, grand, wonderful" baha one of my favorite scenes of Billy Madison.
    I think the relativley sane leaf fans realize it takes more than one player to win a game .... which is why with the help ofo aulie and kadri we should win the Cup right?

  4. Cute post, but I don't think Kadri should have made the team coming out of training camp. The AHL is good for Kadri and his development. As much as I am excited to see him play and as much as I hope he lights it up, the kid still has a lot of developing to do. In a hockey-crazed market like Toronto, if he is brought up too early it could be the end of him. The problem with Toronto is that we want to see young talent and we want to watch them develop, but we don't have the patience to stick out the process. Plus, teams like Chicago and Pittsburgh had high picks in deep draft years, there turn over is nothing short of remarkable. Maybe it would help if we still had our draft picks?

  5. Also, can we get some discussion on these blogs? I'm getting a little tired of the sycophancy.

  6. will have to look up what sycophancy means

  7. kadri is an average ahl player and leaf fans think hes going to save the franchise. he should be a good player but he wont be an impact guy in the show for at leafs 2 full seasons of playing there

  8. kadri sucks and so does this post

  9. sedins are going to shit on us tonight...
    at least i have them both in my pool hehe

  10. question...has anyone actually ever said kadri is the leafs saving grace? Its kinda annoying how people keep claiming that leaf fans are pushing all our hopes on kadri when really its not the case, i don't know a single fan that thinks kadri is the future of the leafs franchise we just think hes a single piece of the future which people seem to confuse. I sincerely hope he does well but don't have any unrealistic expectations.

  11. I agree with Shannon
    If Kadri can chip in a a little and help out that would be awesome.
    He forsure already makes us better at the shootout


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