Kadri’s fate still up in air
The speculation of where Nazem Kadri will play to start the season —with the Leafs or Marlies — will continue for another two days, but itappears his immediate playing future is coming into focus.
The speculation of where Nazem Kadri will play to start the season — with the Leafs or Marlies — will continue for another two days, but it appears his immediate playing future is coming into focus.
While the 19-year-old certainly has the skill to play at the NHL level, his training camp hasn’t been good enough overall to crack the Leafs’ top six forwards.
That alone seems to be the line of thinking as the club prepares for its final two exhibition games Friday and Saturday against Detroit.
“We’re not keeping a first-round pick in the press box,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said Thursday as, once again, Kadri’s playing decision ruled the day.
“If we feel Nazy is better than our top six forwards, then that’s where he’ll play. If not, and there’s an injury, then you can speculate that’s where he’ll come in.”
Injuries have popped up in the past two days, which has opened the door for Kadri to play on the second line with Mikhail Grabovski and Nik Kulemin Friday in Detroit.
Kadri will take the place of regular second-liner Clark McArthur, who has a groin injury and won’t play Friday in the first of two games against the Red Wings.
Saturday, though, should tell the bulk of the see-saw tale that has been Kadri’s training camp so far.
Wilson said Friday, “I’m hoping the lineup we play on Saturday is the one that goes in against Montreal (opening night next Thursday). Right now, it depends on minor injuries.”
McArthur is expected back Saturday and should be back on the second line.