Sports Leafs' Kadri fine with potential demotion

00:31  12 july  2018
00:31  12 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Kadri talks Tavares’ fit in lineup, Leafs’ ability to contend for Stanley Cup

  Kadri talks Tavares’ fit in lineup, Leafs’ ability to contend for Stanley Cup With the Toronto Maple Leafs fresh off winning the John Tavares Sweepstakes, his new teammate Nazem Kadri dished on No. 91’s leadership, his potential fit in the lineup, and why the Leafs can contend for years to come. The post Kadri talks Tavares’ fit in lineup, Leafs’ ability to contend for Stanley Cup appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.There’s been cause for celebration among the Maple Leafs faithful for the past 24 hours. And rightfully so, as it was announced early Sunday that star centreman John Tavares — he of two Hart Trophy nominations and three 80-point campaigns — will don Toronto’s blue and white for the next seven years.

Kadri fine with potential demotion following addition of Tavares. Kadri : We've been trying to rebuild the culture in Toronto. Wild F Zucker on trade rumours: 'I want to be here'. Leafs sign RFA Gauthier to two-year deal.

Kadri fine with potential demotion following addition of Tavares. Wild F Zucker on trade rumours: 'I want to be here'. Leafs sign RFA Gauthier to two-year deal. Couture happy to stay in San Jose long term.

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OAKVILLE, Ont. - Nazem Kadri has always seen himself as a No. 1 centre, but he'd have no problem being No. 3 on the Toronto Maple Leafs' depth chart this season after the addition of John Tavares.

Toronto strengthened itself up the middle July 1 by signing free-agent Tavares to a seven-year, US$77-million deal. The 27-year-old Mississauga, Ont., native had 272 goals and 621 points over nine seasons with the New York Islanders.

The addition of Tavares (37 goals, 47 assists last season) leaves Toronto three-deep at centre with young star Auston Matthews (34 goals, 29 assists) and Kadri (32 goals, 23 assists). If Tavares' arrival pushes Kadri to the third line, the 27-year-old London, Ont., native would be fine with it.

Steven Stamkos and John Tavares made the same choice for the same reason

  Steven Stamkos and John Tavares made the same choice for the same reason Forget hometowns and taxes, the choice was all about the present vs the future. Kyle Dubas was a guest of Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman on the 31 Thoughts Podcast, and he said some things everyone knows about by now. He said the Leafs can and will keep the Big Four. He said he’s not going to tell what was in the video they showed to John Tavares, and he said that it was the players on the Leafs that sold Tavares on the move.

Kadri fine with potential demotion following addition of Tavares. Red Wings sign Mantha to 2-year deal. Kadri : We've been trying to rebuild the culture in Toronto. Wild F Zucker on trade rumours: 'I want to be here'. Leafs sign RFA Gauthier to two-year deal.

Kadri fine with potential demotion following addition of Tavares. Kadri : We've been trying to rebuild the culture in Toronto. Wild F Zucker on trade rumours: 'I want to be here'. Leafs sign RFA Gauthier to two-year deal.

"Winning is the most important thing to me," Kadri said Tuesday prior to participating in the NHL Classic at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont. "I know that's maybe a cliche but that's just the honest truth.

"I don't care where I play, I don't care what role I play. Obviously I want to be an impact player and continue to have the success I'm having ... at the end of the day our ultimate goal is to win a Stanley Cup and bring that to the city of Toronto so we're all going to be on the same page."

Kadri believes with Tavares, few teams can match Toronto's depth at centre.

"Not so sure," he said. "There's definitely some good centremen out there but we're trying to generate some chemistry between the three of us.

"Hopefully we look to be on the power play together and we'll see how it works."

Bruce Arthur: John Tavares did what others wouldn’t and came home to the Toronto Maple Leafs

  Bruce Arthur: John Tavares did what others wouldn’t and came home to the Toronto Maple Leafs The Toronto Maple Leafs are the biggest hockey franchise in the world in every way but accomplishment; they are loved despite themselves, most of all.Boys grow up dreaming of playing for the Leafs, but the best ones almost never do. Wayne Gretzky never came home. Eric Lindros did, but only after he had been broken. Steven Stamkos wondered: he sat down, listened to the pitch and fled back to Florida as fast as he could.On Sunday, John Tavares left the vagabond semi-obscurity of the New York Islanders to sign a seven-year, $77-million (U.S.) deal to play in Toronto.

Kadri fine with potential demotion following addition of Tavares. Kadri : We've been trying to rebuild the culture in Toronto. Wild F Zucker on trade rumours: 'I want to be here'. Leafs sign RFA Gauthier to two-year deal.

Kadri fine with potential demotion following addition of Tavares. Red Wings sign Mantha to 2-year deal. Kadri : We've been trying to rebuild the culture in Toronto. Wild F Zucker on trade rumours: 'I want to be here'. Leafs sign RFA Gauthier to two-year deal.

Toronto (40-27-15, 95 points) finished third in the Atlantic Division last season but was eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in seven games by the Boston Bruins. Despite that setback, right-winger Connor Brown said it will be hard for the Leafs to surprise opponents this season.

"Two years ago we were kind of sneaking up on teams and last year everyone was a little bit more prepared," he said. "You're going to get everyone's best and so you've got to bring your best every day.

"It (seven-game playoff loss) is a tough thing to go through for the city and the fans but also as a player. But you've got to control the controllables and all you can do is put together something better the next time."

The prospect of playing alongside three top-flight centres this season certainly excites the six-foot, 185-pound Brown.

"Those guys, they're all very dynamic and so it doesn't matter who you get," he said. "You're going to have a good centreman and usually that's a recipe for success."

Dave Feschuk: Tavares deal turns Toronto into Centreville

  Dave Feschuk: Tavares deal turns Toronto into Centreville It was only a few years ago that the whole concept of Sunday’s Canada Day press conference at the big rink on Bay Street would have seemed wholly implausible to a Maple Leafs fan. John Tavares’s seismic arrival in the blue and white, in what could ultimately go down as the most impactful free-agent signing of hockey’s salary-cap era, meant Toronto’s NHL team could suddenly make a case for employing the best lineup of centremen in the league. Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri were already central to a team that set a franchise record for points last season.

Kadri Facing Potential Suspension. In the third period, Nazem Kadri received a charging penalty and a game misconduct for hitting Bruins’ forward, Tommy Wingels in the head. More from Editor In Leaf .

Kadri fine with potential demotion following addition of Tavares. Kadri : We've been trying to rebuild the culture in Toronto. Wild F Zucker on trade rumours: 'I want to be here'. Leafs sign RFA Gauthier to two-year deal.

A fact not lost upon centre Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks, who were also in the running for Tavares.

"To find three centremen like that is tough," he said of the Leafs' trio. "They're going to be tough to match up against for teams, especially in their own division.

"There are a lot of good centremen but to find those three on the same team, that's impressive."

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall, the NHL's most valuable player last season, said the acquisition of Tavares gives Toronto head coach Mike Babcock plenty of options.

"There's going to be some mismatches for sure," said Hall, who went first overall to Edmonton in the 2010 NHL entry draft. "You'll probably see them have a very good home record with Babcock being able to match up and really have the players he wants out there.

"He (Tavares) went there because they're a strong team, they have a bright future. I think everyone sees that."

Tavares has been skating with his new teammates this week and left-winger Josh Leivo said Tavares' work ethic is contagious.

"It's just motivating us to work even harder," Leivo said. "He works really hard so I think he pushes us even more in the gym.

Where does John Tavares signing push Leafs’ centre depth?

  Where does John Tavares signing push Leafs’ centre depth? The signing of John Tavares might be the only free-agent signing to rival the Bruins signing Zdeno Chara way back in the summer of 2006. The post The Steve Dangle Podcast | TAVAR3S | July 4, 2018 appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Now that John Tavares has joined the Leafs, Toronto has an elite group of centres, and everyone is writing about which team comes out the best based on a variety of statistics.

Leafs ’ Nazem Kadri suspended three games for Game 1 hit on Wingels. They can, if they play to their potential . Komarov’s demotion , coupled with Marner’s ascension to play with Kadri , was a big part of Toronto’s second-half surge.

[RELATED: Kadri suspended three games | Complete Bruins vs. Maple Leafs series coverage]. The message is clear: Better play means better results, Kadri or no Kadri . "It's a little bit different, but should be fine .

"It's exciting to have him on our team."

The move reunites Tavares with Kadri, who were teammates with the OHL's London Knights. Kadri said the biggest improvement in Tavares' game has been his skating ability.

"Right from the beginning he was so gifted, he was just so much better than everyone else," Kadri said. "His hands and hockey sense were just off the charts.

"But he's worked on his skating since I saw him recently and obviously played against him the last few years. It's been a big improvement for him."

Tavares won't be the lone new face this season for a Toronto team that's minus six players from last year, including forward James van Riemsdyk. A 36-goal scorer last season, van Riemsdyk signed a $35-million, five-year free-agent deal with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Kadri said Toronto will miss van Riemsdyk this season.

"He's just a natural-born scorer and that presence was very annoying for opposing teams to play against," he said. "He was the full package.

"JVR is a good player and I couldn't be happier for him."

Lamoriello on losing Tavares, challenge of turning Islanders around .
New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello knows a thing or two about both losing his best forward and turning around a struggling franchise.Lamoriello also knows about the challenges of joining a new franchise that, on paper, is nowhere close to being championship calibre.

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