Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Nazem Kadri has some blunt advice for Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames.
Kadri’s advice comes on the heels of Tkachuk receiving the third suspension of his young career (just over 100 NHL games) after spearing a Maple Leafs player while he was standing on the bench.
Kadri, 25, has been on the wrong side of the law in the NHL several times throughout his career. From fines for diving to a check to the back of an opponent’s head, Kadri went through a stretch where he was routinely facing discipline from the league.
Over time, Kadri’s game started to evolve and now he’s trying to give advice to a 19-year-old Tkachuk who is making some similar boneheaded mistakes.
Kadri, via Sportsnet:
“Yeah, ‘wake up.’ I went through the same thing so I understand what he’s going through. There comes a time where you’ve just got to mature; you can still play on the edge and play on that fine line, but you can’t be stupid.
And that was just stupid.”
Kadri, as well as most NHL players, will tell you that hockey is an emotional, heated game. Should Tkachuk do something in the heat of the moment, Kadri would at least understand what’s driving his actions. Instead, Tkachuk is doing things when he is removed from the play. That doesn’t make much sense.
Tkachuk, like Kadri, plays his game on a narrow line that straddles gritty, heavy hockey and dumb, reckless hockey. Tkachuk’s age and inexperience may be driving some of his poor decisions. That shouldn’t be an excuse, but it could be one factor that Kadri believes Tkachuk will eventually figure out.
“Those are just young stupid choices and I’m sure he’s going to get it figured out or else he’s going to get the book thrown at him one of these days.”
Hopefully Tkachuk will listen to Kadri’s sound advice.