Kadri Sent Down, Should Leafs Consider Rolston?


So the Toronto Maple Leafs did the inevitable and sent down there 2009 1st round selection Nazem Kadri to the AHL (Toronto Marlies).  Whether it is longer term or just to get his 2-game suspension off the books remains to be seen but I for one hope he is firmly entrenched down there, for his own good.  I still have hope that Kadri can develop into a serviceable and possibly even productive second line centre but for now he is not even close to being NHL ready.

To really drive home that point let’s head to Alberta and take a look at Jordan Eberle. 

Like Kadri, Eberle was born in 1990 and was a very highly touted 1st round selection (2008, 22nd overall) but unlike Kadri he has shown a real nose for the net.  In 17 games for the Maple Leafs Kadri has yet to light the lamp but has had a few good moments from time to time (17 games, 0 goals, 6 assists) while Eberle in 35 games has scored 9 goals and added 13 assists.

The AHL is an underrated league and a great place for young professionals to hone their craft and it’s not as if he is heading way out east or some dreary little city, he is basically crossing the street to the Ricoh Centre and still living/playing in the Big Smoke.  I hope he goes down upset, and takes out his frustrations on the ice in games, practices and training sessions.

Nazem Kadri showed glimpses of the talent the Leafs envisioned he would display on a nightly basis, now it’s time for him to develop some consistency, tenacity and hockey smarts.  The next time he gets called up I hope it’s for good and until that is going to be abundantly clear I think he should remain in the AHL.

Leafs Should Pass On Rolston

Brian Rolston turns 38 years old on February 21st and even at $2.5 million is not the type of forward the Leafs should consider bringing in.  In 21 games this season he has tallied only 2 goals and 3 assists and even last season he in 80 games only managed 20 goals so his best hockey is clearly behind him.  He doesn’t really help this season and is likely to be a major drag on the teams cap next season, even at essentially half price.

Thanks, but no thanks.