Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/17/11 at 09:14 PM ET
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
So let’s start in this corner over here, with once-and-again-and-again roster aspirant Nazem Kadri, prematurely and precipitously cast as a top-line centre when last he passed through Leaf boot-camp 12 months ago. That experience was an unqualified disaster for the brash young’un, who’d so impressed a year earlier when very nearly breaking camp with the squad. As in, a child shall lead them.
Second time around, with exactly one (1) NHL game on his resume, Kadri shocked as a cocksure cock-up, suddenly all a-flounder among the big-league pros. Common wisdom suggested Kid Kadri had spent too much time reading, and believing, his own press clippings, the fawning tributes and predictions, stellar reviews that were a bit much, based on his junior career flash.
There was, as well, the added distinction — with commensurate pressure — of being the first Muslim player ever drafted by the Leafs in this proudly multicultural city. So Kadri was not just a hockey scrubeenie, green in blue, but a diversity trophy as well, poor thing, carrying the banner for ethnic inclusivity.
His third kick at the can, stripped down to hockey essentials, has make-or-break written all over it, though management continues to preach patience with a boy who’s not yet reached his 21st birthday.
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