The saviour is back. Well, no, but Leafs Nation can hope so.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have recalled Nazim Kadri from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL), along with Keith Aulie with hopes of sparking the team's mediocre-at-best offence so far this season.
After earning points in all of the team's first five games (4-0-1) the Leafs have been heading downhill ever since earning just four points in 10 games while putting up a stretch of seven straight losses since a 3-1 win over Florida October 26. The Leafs have been shut-out during three of those games and have only found the back of the net three or more times in six times in 15 games this season.
It was time for a change.
Kadri, the team's top prospect, has five goals and nine assists through 14 games with the Marlies. If he can join the Leafs and produce immediately, he could be in for a lengthy stay with the big club. If he fails to impress, it should be a quick trip back to the farm team for him to "improve his game" once again.
This situation seems like a terrible plan. Yes, the Leafs need offence desperately, but the team has now put all of the pressure in the world on Kadri's shoulders to become the man it needs. Yes, the man it needs. Let's not forget he is still just 20 years old and has played just a single regular season NHL game so far in his career. While I indeed envy him as he gets an opportunity like this, but I do not envy him on how it has come about.
Though, with that being said, he must be used to it by now with how the team has handled his development/playing time.
Aulie, who was brought in from the Calgary Flames in the Dion Phaneuf deal, also gets the call-up and will play in his first game for the Leafs. To make room for the two call-ups, Korbinian Holzer and Christian Hanson have been sent down.
The Leafs host the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night, and what better time to showcase the kid than Hockey Night in Canada?