Incidents Like WHAT, Brendan?


TORONTO (Mar. 11) — So, Nazem Kadri has now been suspended by the Maple Leafs for two more games — ineligible to play until Saturday night’s visit to Vancouver. We know Kadri was late for a team meeting Sunday, which led to coach Peter Horachek scratching him for Tuesday night’s loss to the New York Islanders. Now, Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan has tacked on a couple of more games to the sentence, telling reporters “incidents like this will not be tolerated.”

Incidents like what, Brendan?

If you’re going to publicly censure a player, perhaps you can inform the public of the incident in question. Otherwise, it leads to an eternal range of speculation — not a good idea in the loony world of social media.

“There’s more to this, obviously,” Shanahan said.

Obviously my rump, Brendan. There is nothing the least bit obvious to anyone except you and those in your employ.



“If this was a case of Nazem being late for a meeting one time… then you could probably sweep this under the rug and handle it internally.”

Wrong, Brendan. You could have handled this internally from the outset. As a former player, you know as well as anyone that “incidents” happen all the time with a hockey club. They are routinely dealt with out of the public eye simply by levying a fine. Which you almost certainly would have done in this situation were your team in playoff contention. With an unstated desire to plummet as far as possible in the standings, it’s easy to shut down one of your best players for three games. Too easy, in fact.

“But, Naz is an important part of our future.”

Oh, I’m sure he’s dying to be part of the future with a dysfunctional team whose highest–paid skater has been running a flag up the pole for more than two months. And not a peep of dissent from coaches or management. Rules for Fast Phil and rules for everyone else.

“I’ve asked [Kadri] to just work hard. I’ve explained this to our captains. They understand. I told them I don’t want them talking about it. I just want them focusing on our game against Buffalo.”


You deliberately come before the media on the morning of a home game to castigate one of your players… and now you want everyone else to be quiet? To (in your words) “sweep it under the rug?”

I’m puzzled, Brendan.

For a guy that impressed so many people with thoughtful work during the lost season of 2004–05, and with innovative thinking while a National Hockey League executive in charge of discipline, today’s appearance before the cameras didn’t measure up.

I honestly hold you in higher esteem.





13 comments on “Incidents Like WHAT, Brendan?

  1. I don’t think Harold Ballard run Leaf teams could have had a season with this much of a circus atmosphere.

  2. I always thought a team should have rules that apply to everyone. I read somewhere that Scotty Bowman had teams rules when he coached. In Montreal, even Guy Lefleur had to live by those team rules. Scotty didn’t treat him or any other star player differently than a four line player.

  3. Howard,
    Do you think the Leafs will be better off maybe trading Kadri at the draft? In your opinion is he a good kid? Maybe this is a result of poor leadership in the room? It is hard to imagine making him part of the core going forward if he continues to have character issues. I guess Shanahan could have been more explicit, but the fact that they are dealing with it at all makes me optimistic that perhaps there will be accountability going forward. For Phil it is too late – maybe they know he will be gone, so to punish him will hurt his value- even more than he has by his play.

    1. I’m not sure, Ron, that I would gauge any part of the future on this wholly miserable season. Hit the re-set button and move forward with a still-young, talented player.

  4. I think Howard hits the nail on the head when he suggests that had the team been in a playoff race this late in a season, there would be ZERO chance that Brendan would suspend one of his top three forwards for three games…NOT A CHANCE!!!

    Brendan should have come out and said “I am really trying to think out of the box, and to find ways to ensure my team as low of a draft pick as possible, and ‘benching’ Nazem for a few games might help me accomplish just that!”

  5. Howard this is being proactive. If he is scratched without explanation it still evolves to the story today. As far as the incident, it does not need to be made public which only hastens to have the media descend over this matter more than they already have. Shanahan has enough street cred that a little trust has to be taken that the matter deserved this attention and disposition.

    1. It is NOT proactive, Larry. It was poor handling of the situation. If dealt with internally, there was no need to suspend Kadri for even one game. And no one outside the dressing room would have known about it.

    2. Howard, Have to agree with Larry this time. The public and media do not need to know everything that happens within the team/organization.
      Maybe Shanny was trying to’goat’ all the media into writing all their own false and funny stories?
      Time to move on and get the season over with.

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