Kadri And Gustavsson What Are The Leafs To Do

Just got back from the Blue Rodeo concert and it was awesome. Lt rocked and rolled through the entire show and sang every word! The opening act as many of you suggested was really good too.

Rookie camp is almost up on us and there are two players I think that will garner the most attention in both rookie camp and the full training camp. The Toronto Maple Leafs first round pick Nazem Kadri has, unfairly, in my opinion huge expectations simply because of the season Luke Schenn had last season. As a result of Schenn making the team last season, expectations for Kadri will be high. I know the answer is simply that just because Schenn made has no bearing or reflection of Kadri. I do know about expectations though in this town, and people I do believe will feel let down if he isn’t good enough to make the team. The right answer is that he should play wherever it affords him the best opportunity to develop. Opinions on that will be far and wide. Where does leave him, I don’t know, but I am betting that he doesn’t make the team. I would be less surprised to see him back with the London Kinights than I would to see him a Leaf. That would really surprise me.

In the same vein is the question of the young goalie Gustavsson. He is older, more mature, but he too has never played in the NHL. Goalies also tend to take longer to develop. If Gustavsson bombs out of the gate, how long do they let him stay with the big club and not play? How soon do they send him to the minors? How much of that is based on the play of Vesa Toskala? If Toskala is no better this season than he was last, will that put added pressure on The Monster? I really hope not. In an ideal world, the growth and maturation of Gustavsson should be totally unrelated to that of the rest of the team and or Vesa Toskala. He should be afforded every opportunity in training camp to make the team. If he struggles then he should go down and get his game minutes in. Will that happen? Time will tell. In both cases the pressure on both kids will be immense. The pressure on Burke will be equally as high. Not trading away picks and prospects at the draft was Burke’s first test. Not rushing his kids will be his second.

On the topic of the Maple Leafs, it is very quiet out of MLSE after the report of no official team representative at Ted Kennedy’s funeral last week. Silence tells me that, unfortunately, there is no good explanation for the absence and that the good ship Maple Leaf screwed up. The appearance of not caring in this matter is hard to ignore. The silence on the matter is deafening too. Let’s hope that if it is true, that no one from the team was there, that it was a total 100% mistake and that the will admit so publicly.

So, Paul Kelly is on the hot seat already in the NHLPA? This has to be a joke right? How is it possible that the NHLPA can be this dysfunctional. Again, if it is true, and they are really thinking about replacing Kelly, then I have the perfect replacement for him. David Miller. Yes the Mayor of Toronto would be perfect to serve the NHLPA. He has done such a wonderful job as Mayor of the City of Toronto, i feel that we Torontonians should swallow hard and suffer by letting him go and run the NHLPA. If not Miller, Glen Healey would be an awesome choice! If you are sensing a little bit of sarcasm it’s because I am laying it on pretty thick!



Editors note, I thought that if kadri made the leafs and lost his junior eligibility he could go to the marlies. I was wrong.

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Pal Hal Pall
August 28, 2009 12:53 am

I could be wrong on this one, but I think Kadri is ineligible to play with the Marlies. I remember someone posing the same question last year about Luke Schenn, and I’m pretty sure it was made clear that it was either the NHL or back to junior. In Kadri’s case, he should absolutely go back to junior, no matter how good a camp he has. In fact, though it worked out okay, I still think Schenn should have done one more year in Kelowna.

August 28, 2009 12:59 am

I think you’re right PHP, any conversation I hve seen with Kadri has mentioned Jr as his option other than cracking the leafs.

August 28, 2009 8:40 am

A 19 year old who wears 170 pounds shouldn’t be thrown into the fire like that.. give Kadri a year to big the top dog in the CHL and another year at the WJC

August 28, 2009 9:07 am

PHP is 100% correct. If Kadri doesn’t make the Leafs (and I’m one fan who really hopes he does NOT) he has to go back to the OHL.

As a North American born skater, Kardi’s not eligible to play in the AHL until he’s played four seasons in the OHL or he turns 20.

August 28, 2009 11:23 am

I wouldn’t WANT Kadri to play for the Marlies all year rather than the A. Go back to the O, develop more offensively, get some more confidence in his ability to be a top-line scorer. If he were a potential third-liner who focuses on physicality and defensive play I could see wanting him to play in the A, but top-line talent would develop more in the O.

August 28, 2009 2:04 pm

I wonder if having an American member effects their pipline to Govt funds.

August 28, 2009 6:11 pm

PHP you stated

“I still think Schenn should have done one more year in Kelowna” sorry but I dont understand that reasoning as he fit into the Leafs and the NHL nicely and will start this year with experience under his belt. Kadr has confidence give him the opportunity as many players have gone directly from Jr to the bigs and played well..I love his confidence the Leafs need this attitude. As for the Monster he has played top Tier Hockey his whole life this is a natural progression…he is not 19 yrs old why wait til he gets closer to \thirty…another guy with confidence..we are not looking at cocky jerks like Avery here but 2 players ready for the challenge…go for it Burke let them Rock and Roll!


August 28, 2009 6:15 pm

Too much Politics on my mind




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