Maple Leafs facing decision on whether to recall Kadri or not … Lecavalier breaks hand … Peter Forsberg take 5 … Blues injury updates
  • Darren Dreger of TSN: Within the next month, the Boston Bruins should get $7.5 million in salary returning to their lineup. When Marc Savard and Marco Sturm return, the Bruins will be about $2 million over the cap. The Toronto Maple Leafs will be interested, but the Bruins might rather bury someone in the minors rather than helping out their division rivals, especially since they hold their 1st round pick. Michael Ryder and his $4 million salary, Andrew Ference and his $2.25 million cap hit are 2 options. The Maple Leafs may look to other cap challenged teams like the Devils, Flyers, Canucks and Flames, or financially challenged teams like the Coyotes, Stars, Panthers or Thrashers.
  • Darren Millard via twitter: Talk is increasing that the Maple Leafs could call up Nazem Kadri on Friday. Doug Maclean is also reporting the same thing. It’s unknown if Maclean told Millard, or vise versa, or if they have 2 different sources. David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail: Burke and his executive team are trying to decide if they should call up Kadri for Saturday’s game versus the Canucks. They are wrestling with “what is best for Kadri versus what is best for the Leafs”. GMs are calling Burke with trade inquiries but involve the usual “overpaid, the concussed and the undertalented,” so nothing is really going on.
  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: Simmons goes off on the mess Brian Burke as created for the Maple Leafs.

    They are 25th best in the NHL. With the 26th best powerplay. The 27th best penalty killers. And 28th in goal scoring.

    This is Burke’s team. This is his preferred coach, even if he didn’t hire him. These are mostly players he has acquired.

    If this was John Ferguson Jr., there would be a metaphorical noose waiting for his neck. He was an easy target. But because it’s Burke, who has won a Stanley Cup, who has never ducked a question, who did good work in Vancouver, who came to Toronto with so much hope and hype, there is the tendency to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • Tony Fabrizio of the Tampa Tribunes: Vincent Lecavalier will be out of the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup for awhile after breaking his hand last night in the first period. He originally injured his hand 3 weeks ago, and was told it was bad bone bruise and could be on the verge of breaking. “That’s what they told me. There’s no way to tell. It wasn’t broken, but (Thursday night), when I overextended it, I kind of felt a pop. So I guess that was the fracture.” 3 of the Lightning top 6 forwards are now out, Simon Gagne is out indefinitely, and Steve Downie is out until at least Sunday.
  • Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun: Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray had this to say after the GM meetings,

    “Nobody has any (cap) room. I talked to probably only four or five teams there. I think there’s another 14 or 15 I’ve called … I’ve said, ‘do you want to do anything?’ (and the response is) ‘no, not really.’

    “Nobody can really do anything right now unless it’s a dollar-for-dollar trade, and we know that doesn’t work very often.”

  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Taken from a report out of Sweden, Peter Forsberg will attempting to make another comeback. “I will make a last, last, last try,” Forsberg told the Swedish newspaper. As usual, he’ll be starting his comeback with MoDo of the Swedish Elite League.
  • Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Injury update for the St. Louis Blues. Roman Polak will still be out another 2 months. Barret Jackman is a few weeks from returning. TJ Oshie could be gone for 2-3 months. David Perron is doubtful for this weekend, could return next week. Carlo Colaiacovo could return on Monday. Brad Winchester skated yesterday but is doubtful for the weekend. Despite their injuries, Rutherford doesn’t think the Blues would be interested in Bill Guerin. The Blues don’t want to trade Ian Cole, but they have a surplus of young Dmen, and may be forced to make a move for some scoring help. Putting any of their young blueliners on the block could land them some nice offensive talent.
  • Sherri Zickefoose of the Calgary Herald: Calgary Flames forward Brett Sutter was arrested early Thursday morning in Scottsdale Arizona, and charged with assault after he allegedly punched someone in an Arizona bar.

I am satisfied either way if Leafs decide to play Nazem Kadri, who turned age 20 just over one month ago, on the first line in the AHL or first line in the NHL. Neither choice will impede his development.

However, I am not crazy about bringing him up to the NHL to play on the 3rd or 4th line. I see it as a wasted opportunity to advance him.

As of now, I see leaving Kadri in the AHL as an opportunity to fully assess the 24 year old forwards on the team. Unfortunately, most of them are struggling with the opportunity. This is similar to John Mitchell’s situation last year.

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