Brett Hull appeared on The Cam & Strick Podcast and gave his take on Nazem Kadri. He straight up said, “he’s an idiot.” You could notice from what he was saying that there is still resentment there from when Kadri made a dirty hit on Justin Faulk in the playoffs.
Hull said, “It’s still crazy to me that there’s still idiots that hit people from behind or elbow people in the head.” There certainly have been some players in the league that have tried to hurt others on the ice. They typically get the distinction of being a dirty player. I don’t believe Kadri should have been classified in that group. He may have made dirty plays, but it has repeatedly been in highly intense games and moments, not in the average regular season game.
Kadri is a pesky player and is physical. Sometimes with physicality, some hits and plays don’t go the way anyone wants them to. Slight movements can change the outcome of a hit and injure a player. All of his issues have come in the postseason and he has let his feelings get the better of him in the past. But he has stated, “that’s how I play – I play on the edge, I play intense, I play passionate, emotional.”
Kadri Hasn’t Made the Smartest Plays in the Heat of the Moment
Hull went into a bit more detail recalling some of what Kadri did in the past. He made a bold statement that “he (Kadri) may have cost the (Toronto Maple) Leafs a Stanley Cup.” Considering they haven’t been able to get out of the first round regardless of who’s in their lineup and who they’re playing, that’s a stretch to think they could have then won three more rounds. The Maple Leafs have lost six consecutive series-clinching games and haven’t even won a playoff round since 2003-04. The Stanley Cup drought is much longer than that as the franchise hasn’t won since 1967.
The Boston Bruins were a heated rival of the Maple Leafs and the games needed to be played hard. Since Kadri was one of the only players who would actually raise the intensity and physicality on the team, some of the pressure surely got to him. The season he took a bad penalty, he was the third-line centre for the Maple Leafs. It wasn’t as bad as when he took another bad penalty as a member of the Avalanche two seasons later.
Hull may have been more right with his take saying, “he (Kadri) certainly screwed the Avalanche over the year before they won it.” This is because this time Kadri was the second line centre, a more impactful and important role. He played just over a game and a half in their 2020-21 playoff run but definitely made up for it last season winning the Cup.
One of the last things Hull said about Kadri was, “he’s still getting suspended for stupid…plays. I mean, he’s an idiot.” This couldn’t be more wrong as Kadri has changed his game. He’s still a pest, but he’s keeping it clean. He also hasn’t made a dirty play since the 2020-21 playoffs, regardless of what St. Louis Blues fans think about him being tangled up and running into Jordan Binnington last season in the playoffs.
Kadri’s New Approach to Lead by Example
Kadri may have taken bad penalties at very inopportune times in the past, but last season was a big step in the right direction. He avoided any costly majors or stupid penalties and started to lead by example the right way. This time the Avalanche were able to have their run and win the Stanley Cup with Kadri contributing seven goals and 15 points in the process.
He didn’t tone down his physical play either, delivering 20 hits. He also reduced his penalty minutes in the playoffs to just eight, so four minors. This ties him with the lowest he’s had in a postseason through seven appearances.
Now that Kadri has joined the Flames for seven years, he is in a leadership role and one of the players who have Stanley Cup-winning experience on the team. He is also one of the older players and it is crucial, not only this season but future seasons, that he is a good example for his teammates. That group of winners had a meeting and Kadri said they discussed how they have to, “lead by example and we expect that out of ourselves. And that’s always what we’re looking to do. Just making sure everybody is on the same page.”
The Flames are in a good position to compete for the Stanley Cup this season and the seasons to follow. With a smarter leader on the team who has now been to the mountain-top and knows what it takes, this team can expect a strong leader in Kadri with his past staying in the past.
Rob Couch is a THW freelance writer covering mainly the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. He covers everything you need to know about fantasy hockey. He will also keep you up to date with NHL Stats News and trade talks.
You can find more of his work here.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.