Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Arguing on the Internet: In Defense of Nazem

nazem kadri leafs marlies
The Toronto Maple Leafs recalled Nazem Kadri from the Toronto Marlies on Tuesday, giving him his second stint with the big club in his rookie season. His first stint was necessitated by a nasty death spell that befell the Leafs where they were looking for anything to pull them out. It wasn't the ideal situation for Kadri. "Here, kid. It's no big deal. Just score a shit ton of goals, pull Kessel out of his slump, don't mess around in your own end, and, just for good measure, tell Komisarek to figure it out. Oh, and no pressure, but the weight of Leafs Nation rides on you."

Kadri didn't play very well and was mercifully sent back to the Marlies where he belongs at this stage of his career. But many people - including some misguided Leaf fans - think that because at this specific juncture in his career he belongs in the AHL it means that he will always belong in the AHL. These people have determined in less than 20 games that Nazem Kadri will amount to nothing.

I casually perused the message board accompanying the news story and was baffled by the ignorance. This is like shooting fish in a barrel, but it's better than another head-shots article.

As a Kitchener Ranger season ticket holder I saw Kadri play alot. He will never be anything more than a 3 or 4th liner in the NHL. He's another Robbie Schremp - dalejr8

I've seen this guy (Kadri) play for the Marlies this year and so far looks like a 3rd/4th liner at best. If this is the future for the Leafs, it looks bleak. - lucyfur

Wow, I’m really pissed the Leafs spend so much on scouts when they could have taken the opinion from two jack-offs on the internet. Dale, I’m not sure what led you to believe Kadri would become a third/fourth liner at best. Possibly being a finalist for CHL player of the year while in junior? Lucy, I’m glad someone is watching the Marlies play, but I’m not so sure it’s you.

Kadri sits 80th in the AHL in scoring. You might be inclined to say that he missed a lot of games but Acoin with Hershey with only 2 more games sits in 5th. Scoring leader is Locke with the Senators. Face it fans - he is not the next Crosby but could be trained to carry Crosby's bag some day. - Leaf_sheep

No one has ever said he’s the next Crosby. That’s partly because there will not be another Sidney Crosby. And it’s partly because Kadri was the seventh overall pick and wasn’t hyped to death since he was a young teen. And also because making a comparison like that is moronic.

Keith Aucoin is fifth in AHL scoring, yet has only played two more games than Kadri, but he’s a 32-year-old man. He’s a career AHLer, so I’m not sure what looking at his stats actually proves. Kadri is an AHL rookie and sits seventh in rookie scoring – despite playing the second fewest games of those in the top-10.

Corey Locke is leading the AHL in scoring, which is impressive, but he’s almost 27. He’s only played in four NHL games. It seems like he’s too good for the AHL, but not good enough for the NHL. A lot of times this happens when a player isn’t offensive enough to play on the second line, but isn’t defensive enough to hold down a spot on the third line.

Leafs did not screw around with Kadri. He was given plenty of ice time with a 30 goal scorer as his winger and he was best. He is terribly over-rated and the fans were looking for a saviour. The other AHL call-ups are doing better. - Around in 67

The Leafs decided Kadri wasn’t ready for the NHL after his second big league training camp and sent him down. Yet he was somehow ready for the NHL a month later? It was a panic move then, which did work in the short-term (Kadri had 4 assists in his first 6 games), but didn’t last. He should have stayed in the minors, but the Leafs were in a death spiral and that makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do.

They did play him with Kessel, but they also played him everywhere from the first line to the fourth line. They played him at centre and at wing. He played close to 20 minutes a night and he played below 10. It wasn’t a stable environment for his development, but it was Wilson trying to find some situation that Kadri would excel in. Eventually Burke found it – the AHL.

Kadri's going to be a career minor leaguer and periodic NHL call-up. Doesn't have the head for the NHL game. - jackinthebox8

Thank you. Amateur psychologists everyone envy your diagnostic powers.

Kadri isnt what the Leafs or ever. But it sounds like there are new Young Guns coming in. Nazem will be very much an afterthought. Perhaps we should call him Luca Cereda ptII....anybody remember that guy? - Leaf-Management-Is-Pathetic

Of course the Leafs don’t need highly skilled prospects that have a nasty edge to their game. Nor do they need players in their early 20s who have had success at every level they’ve played.

This means Kadri will sit and Lebda moves up to play forward. – ropermann


Now is the time for Kadri to prove himself & for the Leafs to find out if Kadri is the real deal or a draft bust. - McGyver01

Not really. I find it hard to believe that we will determine if Kadri is a bust in less than 30 NHL games. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kadri started next year in the AHL as well. That wouldn’t make him a bust either. It just means he needs more time to develop. There is no harm allowing a player to slowly ascend to the NHL.

I call 0 goals again! What a bust! – HABSPWN

In Max Pacioretty’s first two seasons in the NHL he played 86 games and scored six goals. It wasn’t until this year – at age 22 – that Pacioretty started to figure it out and look like a legitimate top-6 forward. If a player enters the league and doesn’t achieve immediate results people label them a bust prematurely (which many in Montreal were regarding Pacioretty). Bobby Ryan spent parts of three seasons in the AHL (granted, the salary cap played a role) before finally sticking with the Ducks and turning into the perennial 30-goal scorer he is today.

If I was Burke I would be trying very hard to package the two firsts and a roster player to move into the top 5 in this years draft so he can get Landeskog. That kid is gonna be a heck of a two way centre. - Seamus11

Not even a mutant hybrid of JFJ and Darryl Sutter would trade a top-5 pick for two low first rounders.

How many chances is this disorganized so-called franchise going to give to this guy?? He's not cut out for NHL now move on to the next 'prospect.' - quickade_22

I hope they give all their prospects more than two training camps and 20 NHL games to determine if they’re capable of playing in the NHL.

I remember when the Sedins were drafted, the two picks before them were Stefan and Brendl. Two huge busts, and the Sedins started very slowly and have now ascended to dominating the league. Who can be so full of themselves as to predict how young players will turn out (Besides Barnaby, of course)? – Demonboy

The golden nugget among a sea of turds.

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