Give The Kid A Break

Some people learn from history, others do not and are doomed to making the same mistakes. Way back in 2009, the Leafs were sitting at #7 overall and on the lookout for an impact player. The names available were Kadri, MPS, Jared Cowen, Scott Glennie, Ryan Ellis, Dmitri Kulikov.

There was a famous exchange between Brian Burke and Bryan Murray (Ottawa) at the draft; The Sens wanted to move up and take Kadri, but that was the fellow Burke had his eye on.

Poor Kadri. Had the Senators drafted him, the player wouldn’t have as much pressure on him. An article in the Toronto Sun gives us a nice glimpse into management’s feeling toward the player:

  • “He needs to realize the battle he’s in,” Wilson said after the Leafs’ 3-2 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers. “We’re not giving him the job. He has to outperform at least two or three of those four to earn a spot.”

Riight. Because these are THE Toronto Maple Leafs, with dozens and dozens of 50-goal scorers waiting in the wings. I think Kadri is miscast as an offensive option (especially 2 weeks short of his 20th birthday at the NHL level) and could use a season in the minors. He scored at 1.39 points-per-game in the OHL in his draft year, and 1.66 the following season. HOWEVER, he did it in London with the Knights, a team that has a proven track record of playing their stars an enormous number of minutes per game. He was also an older player in his draft year (7 months older than MPS).

I think Kadri will be a good player. He’s gritty, clearly has skill and could develop into a quality 2-way player. But not with Toronto. They get so damn impatient with these kids. It’s pretty fricking strange that they can’t figure it out, but there it is in all its glory. In the next 5 years, we’ll see Kadri struggle, get sent down and sent away for less than 100 cents on the dollar. Look at Luke Schenn, failing down the depth chart and perhaps one summer from being flushed. Rask, Steen, Colaiacovo, Boyes and on it goes.


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