Almost every major NHL analyst has offered their opinion on the Nazem Kadri situation. Most have said that the ordeal is a classic case of a young player needing to mature, but others have ventured to say the pressure/attention is unwarranted and that Kadri would be wise to seek greener pastures. The always vocal Don Cherry falls into the latter camp.
Via the National Post, Cherry talks about Kadri’s future with the team:
“The kid is not going to be here in two years, he’d be nuts. To be humiliated in front of his family and everything. He’s been called everything since he came here.
I am betting you any money he will stay here when he’s restricted. The day he becomes unrestricted, they’d better trade him before, because he’ll be gone. And if anybody stands here after what he’s gone through — the humiliation — then he has no pride.”
We’ve mocked a lot of statements from Cherry, but he makes a decent point here. Kadri has been through a lot during his tenure with the Leafs and has seen his name smeared through the headlines. Things haven’t been on the same level as Phil Kessel, but it’s been bad. Even if Kadri’s maturity is an issue (it probably is), he still doesn’t deserve the level of scrutiny and blame Toronto fans and media have thrown at him.
Why stick around when you could leave through free agency and play in a more relaxed environment?
Cherry is a big fan of Kadri. You might remember he planted a big smooch on the Maple Leafs forward following a hat trick. Though Cherry’s bias is obvious, his prediction is probably pretty accurate.