Maple Leafs' Kadri punished for tardiness; won't play Monday vs. Islanders

Thomas Drance
March 09 2015 09:31AM

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri was late for a team meeting this weekend, and as a result, he won't play on Monday night against the New York Islanders. Hopefully there's a lesson for Kadri in this, and the mini-controversy can now be put to bed, where it won't oversleep.

"It's brutal," Kadri said of his mistake, and the resulting consequences.

On Monday, the skilled Maple Leafs centre told reporters that he'd apologized to Maple Leafs head coach Peter Horachek for his lateness. 

"He told me to keep my head up and not let it happen again," Kadri said of his coach accepting the apology, via Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

From the sounds of it, Kadri has learned his lesson:

Hopefully this incident doesn't alienate a talented 24-year-old player, especially because being late for a meeting isn't altogether uncommon - in professional hockey, or in professional life in general - and really, it's not that big a deal in the bigger picture. 

As TSN's Aaron Ward, an NHL veteran who appeared in over 900 games between the regular season and the playoffs, tweeted on Monday, it's not surprising is that a player was late, it's more surprising that his tardiness became public. Kadri's teammate Joffrey Lupul echoed that sentiment on Monday, recounting a time he was late for a team meeting in Anaheim and the issue was dealt with quietly and internally. 

Nothing about the Maple Leafs at the moment is quiet though, fans at the Air Canada Centre aside. 

What's mildly concerning is that when the public has been let in on this sort of news in the past, like with Shane O'Brien in Vancouver, or the Alexander Radulov brouhaha, it hasn't augured well for a player's future with their particular team. 

Kadri is an enormously useful pivot, and one of the league's single best drivers of penalty differential. Most importantly, he's the right age for a club that's entering a new rebuilding phase. That Horachek is making Kadri watch a game from the press box seems a fair punishment for the skilled forward's tardiness, but the hope has to be that this ends here. 

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is the editor in chief of the Nation Network (a.k.a Overlord), and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 Bertly83
March 09 2015, 09:41AM
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JVR hasn't shown up for months, where's his scratching?

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#2 Jeremy Ian
March 09 2015, 11:57AM
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Bertly83 wrote:

JVR hasn't shown up for months, where's his scratching?

he's scratching his arse.

What bugs me about all this is Horachek going public. Enough of the public shaming! Carlyle did it all the time, to what effect? Aaron Ward's right. Professionals do this discretely. Man, this team is horribly run.

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#3 Mea Culpa
March 09 2015, 12:14PM
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I watched the press conference on Sportsnet and I have to say that Kadri's handling it like a professional. What I am sick of is the media scrum and listening to him answer the same question a dozen different ways. I'd like to see the Leafs in press scrums just refuse to answer the same question over and over again. Just say, "I've already answered that. Next..." Have the team force the media to actually work and create something insightful, rather than just paraphrase the last question asked.

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#4 TGT23
March 09 2015, 01:26PM
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So Kadri is 15 minutes to a meeting and he has to be made an example of, Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak are two months late for the 2nd half of the season.... Nothing....

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