How much of the World Cup have you been watching and how much have you been noticing from your teammates?
Nazem Kadri: A fair bit. I went to the last couple of games actually. The atmosphere seems pretty lively and electric. That’s something I’m sure the guys are excited about. I’ve talked to some of the guys on the team already, and obviously the guys have enjoyed it so far. Obviously they’re heading into the knockout phase, which is when things get more exciting. I like it. I think it’s good for the game. I think it’s about time we incorporated something like that.
What’s your scouting report on Matthews?
Kadri: He’s a good player. I’ve watched him in a couple of games. Obviously, high-level skill, and he can skate and he’s big. He’s only going to get better. That 82-game season is probably going to be a little difficult, but I think he’s going to be more than ready for it.
Despite the record last year, there was a lot of optimism. What are you feeling about this season going into training camp?
Kadri: Just re-energized. Clean slate. New logo. New season. We are going to feel like a new team. We know what’s expected of us. We know how to prepare ourselves and how the coaching staff likes to prepare us. I think we’re going to be re-energized right off the bat and we could surprise some people.
How do you take a leadership role on this team, Nazem, given the team you’ve now spent with the club?
Kadri: Just lead by example. I try to do things on and off the ice like a professional, whether that’s being more vocal or leading on the ice. I’ve said this before – whether or not you have a letter, we’re going to have to have some guys in here step up as far as leadership and kind of guide the way and make the guidelines for the young guys.
Did you see the club’s speed in the rookie tournament at all in London? They were quick and that’s obviously going to probably reflect this group as well.
Kadri: I’ve watched that a little bit as well. It’s re-energizing. Obviously speed is a big factor for our team. That’s just how the NHL is trending right now. It’s a fast game. It’s a young man’s game. I think we’re going to come up on the right side of that.