Here we go again.
It seems Nazem Kadri is always one step away from being the odd man out for the Toronto Maple Leafs. After apparently breaking out last season, Kadri is once again having a difficult season.
Kadri has had every chance to be successful. With Tyler Bozak out, Kadri was given a big chance to show that he could be the No. 1 center for the Maple Leafs. He didn’t do much, and neither did Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk while he was their center.
Prior to Dave Bolland‘s injury, Kadri was even having trouble retaining his second line spot to Bolland. With the injured hopefully returning after the Olympic break, will Kadri have the same problem?
Nazem Kadri has always been a mystery to the Leafs since he was drafted with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft. He struggled to make the team for more than a couple of years and when he did, he didn’t exactly look like a top-10 draft pick.
Last year, it finally looked like Kadri finally had it. However, being a lockout-shortened season, it looks like it could have been a fluke.
Now, a trade earlier this season has made it worse for Kadri. When the Leafs acquired Peter Holland from the Anaheim Ducks, it was simply to bring in more depth at the center position. Holland, however, has clearly outplayed Kadri on many nights.
All this has lead to many people saying that he is on the trading block. Here is some reaction on Twitter.
Larry Brooks saying the Leafs would "love" to deal Kadri. I don't get it. I mean, I could theorize, but sheesh.
— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdonPHT) December 29, 2013
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) December 30, 2013
Carlyle said Kadri needs to take another step. "We feel if Peter Holland continues to play he’s going to challenge [Kadri] for that spot."
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) December 30, 2013
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 31, 2013
— TDot Fan in Van (@TDotSportsGuy) January 5, 2014
That’s reaction from professionals and fans alike. If this continues, Kadri will eventually be run out of town.
The question is, should he be run out of town? If he can’t step up his game when the Leafs clearly need him, is he worth keeping in the lineup. Ever since Holland has come in, it looks like that Holland just wants it more. Keep in mind that these two players were only drafted eight picks apart (Holland at 15th overall).
If the Leafs can find a deal that would send Kadri to another team and they get something of good value in return, I say make the deal. I don’t necessarily think it needs to be a center for center deal, as Damien Cox says. With Bozak, Bolland, Holland and Jay McClement, the Leafs would have four pretty good centers that fit each role well.
I don’t know what’s wrong, but it Nazem Kadri can’t figure it out soon, the Leafs will need to get rid of him. Who knows maybe a change of scenery is what he needs.