I’m going to make this very simple. Kadri is a young player who’s stock is on the rise. There’s next to no reason to try and write a detailed summary of Kadri’s season. I’m going to let the highlights do that for me. I also gave him a 9 out of 10. I wanted to find a balance between my expectations and his contributions to the Leafs. I felt that 9 was a happy medium in between the two because I had expected 25-30 points and got 44 instead. He surpassed everyone’s expectations and perhaps even his own. But I don’t feel that he ‘carried’ the Leafs the way Kessel, Reimer, and Phaneuf did. But by the end of the year, I was very encouraged by how Kadri conducted himself in the team’s last two games of the playoffs.
It is a rare instance in which the Toronto Maple Leafs has been able to develop their drafted prospects. It is even rarer that the prospect turns out to be a legitimate star. Nazem Kadri’s star is rising and he couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
Back in 2009, when the Leafs selected Kadri, there was a large online contingent of fans who absolutely lambasted the pick. Fast forward to four years later and the love-in has begun.
The 2013 Kadri was a remarkable improvement on the previous editions. After starting the season with the team’s first goal, Kadri went on to record 44 points over 48 games, with two hat-tricks and an increased role culminating in finishing the season as the team’s first-line centre. It didn’t matter who Kadri played with, he always made them better. However, Kadri’s season wasn’t without some valleys.
Entering the lockout, there was a mild controversy regarding Kadri’s fitness levels. While completely overblown by the media and fans alike, it did nothing to stop the whispers that Kadri was eating his way out of Toronto. Rumours had also surfaced in the summer that the Leafs had considered trading Kadri as part of a package to bring Luongo to Toronto.
Thankfully, the trade didn’t happen and we got to see this:
Basically, wives and girlfriends, boyfriends and husbands were spurned for a little of our own TLC this year. The highlight reel goals, impassioned celebrations, board-rattling hits.. Kadri’s competitive fire is a sight to behold and suggests this is only the beginning, impossibly high shooting percentage aside.
There’s no ceiling for a player of Kadri’s skill level – he’s going to be a great one. The question is, when? Do we leave the number one center role open for him to grab by the horns next season?
7.5 for Kadri. he has time to be better and he'll get there for sure. Good to see some of our prospects excelling. :-)
No team moves the puck so quickly and confidently out of their own zone as the Hawks. A blueprint for the Leafs. Gardiner has Keith potential. Will Franson = Seabrook? Still several holes to fill and players to develop for the Leafs to get there.
New post. Chat there, boys. Off for dinner!
One guy that's really impressing me is Nick Leddy. He's a puck moving dman for sure. And smaller than Rielly. Bodes well for us.
Kadri is a CENTRE damn it, a 1 C
I see a lot of people without Grabs in their mock lineups. I'm not going to say if I agree with it or not, just have to ask what you guys would do with him? I don't think his contract is tradeable and I would be very disappointed if they bought him out after 1 down season.
Any ideas what could happen on D?
I imagine we don't see O'Bryne, Liles, Kostka in the new season
I still need to take a long look at the roster and decide who I want to stay, but I think Grabo and MacA should be on their way. At first I was skeptical about bringing in a guy like Clarkson, who hasn't proven himself to sustain his pace over multiple seasons, but I think he would fill in nicely in MacA's spot as an occasional offensive contributer with a mean streak that Mac didn't have. Also, let Bozie go, or at least trade his rights. This is sort of the first thing that jumps off my mind
Lupul - Stastny - Kessel
JVR - Kadri - Kulemin
Clarkson - Coleborne - Frattin
Komarov - McClemment - Orr/McLaren
That puts a little more grit in the lineup, and give Coleborne the opportunity to work with some pretty great players. Also you may notice, Stastny is there, I was never a huge fan, but I think he would be great on the team as they are really ready to compete now, and Kadri and Stastny both have the ability to move into either 1st or 2nd line without many issues.
@4evrblue It's tradeable, but I don't think we'll like what he brings in return right now. Hard to say. The most likely trade of Grabo is going to be something similar to Schenn for JVR, two players who have value, but might benefit from a change of scenery to re-energize their game. After all, I would think that Grabo is more attractive than say Ribiero, Weiss, Bozak, or Roy. And they could all be pushing for similar $ in this UFA market. There are certainly teams that need help down the middle.
Somewhere I could see Grabo excelling is in Phoenix under Dave Tippet. He is solid as a two-way guy but would be free to bring the offensive direction that the Coyotes desperately need-and that he's had stifled quite severely under Carlyle. Maybe he could be used in a package for Yandle?
@4evrblue The one bad season wasn't even his fault. He didn't play well because he was being misused. He's still a very good player. Even if his struggles had simply been him not playing well, one 48-game season shouldn't be enough to turn on a player. Especially one of the better possession forwards in the league over the past few seasons. This is a guy that finished in the top 30 in points for centers two seasons in a row, despite only receiving 2nd-line minutes at ES and on the PP. Play him in a top-6 scoring role, he'll live up to his contract.
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Karma will bite you in the ass big time.
@skiingallday I like Kostka as a 7th D tbh. Randy just has to manage his minutes
Gunnar - Phaneuf
Gardiner - Franson
Fraser - Blacker/ROB*
Liles till he's traded
* Ranger if he signs
@skiingallday Think I would still be looking to bring in Gordon for some Center depth
I don't want Clarkson on a long term deal. I smell disaster. I'd want to convince Iginla to come here on a 1 year deal for $6.5. Like Sundin was, he should be ready to sign 1 year deals till he's ready to retire. He can't win with any other Canadian team, so it's time to be Toronto's and Canada's hero. Come home, Iggy, come home.
@wiski Sorry, that's what I meant. Delete by backspacing.
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan @leafmealone Common with young guys in the NHL unless it's their strength coming out of junior. Lots of tricks to learn, and guys to get used to. I've certainly read multiple times that Bozak has said his improvement in the dot came from watching and learning from the vets. And that the more he faces certain guys the more confident he feels.
He should be pairing up with Kadri and practising faceoffs together. Bring in Brind'Amour for faceoffs in the morning, skating with Barb in the early afternoon and training with Gary in the late afternoon. Beer drinking (in moderation and no drugs) at night.
@canuckintheuk @leafmealone @wiski @Knights2Leafs I suggested Phoenix. But was replying to the suggestion that someone had heard Washington mentioned as well. And personally, I'd rather sign Gordon, promote Colbourne, let Bozak walk, and give Grabo another year to bring his game-and therefore trade value-back up to par. Look at it all next summer when cap space and contracts are disappearing all over the roster and flexibility is on your side.
@wiski I'd keep Grabo for one more year to see if he rebounds but only if Bozak doesn't get signed for something around $3.75. If Bozak signs cheap, time to replace Grabo with Colborne. Out with the old and in with the new. We have to retain our status as one of the youngest teams in the league. That's why Liles has to go too. :)
@Knights2Leafs Not a problem. Phoenix didn't sign that contract. If Doan is going to be a bitch and limit that club's ability to be successful by demanding that no one make more than him-and the team goes along with it-than they deserve the plummet down the standings that they are inviting for themselves. After all, Doan isn't anywhere near his prime anymore, what business does the guy have in demanding to be paid as the best player on the team when his production and abilities are fading?
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan @leafmealone I hear ya bud but people can lose their job over shit like that. Wouldn't you feel bad if she lost her job? We all make mistakes...I'm sure you do on your job too and appreciate it when someone is honest with you. I'm not judging you...I may have done what you did in the spur of the moment, but I would never want to see someone lose a job over 80 bucks.
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan @Knights2Leafs I could say the same to the guy who is stealing from local small business owners. I'd have more sympathy for the situation if it was PetSmart or something. But the margins for these people is crazy small. Not to mention that so many local pet stores put a great deal of effort into rescue programs and adopting strays.
I'm with the others. Plus I'm likely to go back to that store and I don't want someone questioning my honesty.
Keon said no way to Iginla because he's a "washed up has been"