Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Toronto media continues to pile on Leafs prospect, and other hockey stories

Nazem Kadri, to nobody's surprise, was sent down to the Toronto Marlies yesterday, and Leafs nation's Barilkosphere outlets responded quite rationally. I still have yet to read a post from a reputable Leafs source which has declared Kadri a "bust" or other fancy terms Canucks had reserved for Cody Hodgson after his dissapointing preseason last year.

So, what say you, Toronto Sun?
“I think Nazem’s accepted that he’s made his own bed,” Burke said. “I think he’s been very mature about it.”
Note that the headline from this Mike Zeisberger story is 'Kadri has right attitude'. So these next to paragraphs are inexplicable:
He’s had to be, what with Kadri-palooza having run amok at Leafs camp the past three weeks. Given the intense media coverage and soap opera twists and turns that have accompanied his efforts to make the Leafs, the outstanding pre-season performances from Kris Versteeg and Nokolai [sic] Kulemin have been overshadowed.

Through it all, Burke believes in Kadri, even if the critics don’t.
This is the first usage of the term 'Kadri-palooza' and I really, truly hope its the last. Remember Pension Plan Puppets' search for actual uncredentialed critics of Nazem Kadri last week? I guess saying that Nazem Kadri is following a normal developmental curve for a prospect is critical in one way: constructive, at least.

Kadri turns 20 tomorrow. What better way to portray him being as mature than by running a picture of him on the front page of your sports section with a photoshopped pacifier?

[Photo courtesy of Jeff Veillette at LeafsHQ]

-Some NHL teams choose to keep their 21st player as a seventh defenseman, others prefer to keep a shootout specialist or a goon on reserve with the big club. The Edmonton Oilers think its necessary to have three goalies. The Oilers seem content to play with Nikolai Khabibulin, Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Deslauriers. I guess they need a goalie in reserve to act as Khabibulin's ride home.

-The Canucks released Brendan Morrison on the weekend, and the Calgary Flames signed him on Monday. General consensus is that the team wanted to go in a 'grittier' direction.

This is my nostalgia creeping in--I would have loved for Brendan Morrison to make the Canucks. He can still play 60 games and score 12 or 13 goals and 40 points, and while there's no debate he's on the decline, you're still better off than you are having a "truculent" "role-player" play five minutes a game on your third or fourth line.

Evidently, nothing has happened in Montreal or Ottawa that I care to get to before class, but stay tuned tomorrow for my preview of the six Canadian teams, and which advanced statistics I will be tracking this year and why.

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