Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson doesnâ€™t anticipate much roster juggling this year as the National Hockey League team begins its training camp for the new season. And, unfortunately this means limited opportunities for Lebanese-Canadian forward Nazem Kadri on the 2010-2011 roster.
For now, the Leafs coach has his first three lines set, with the possible exception of one spot on the third unit. The trio of Joffrey Lupul-Tim Connolly-Phil Kessel will get things started followed by Nikolai Kulemin-Mikhail Grabovski-Clarke MacArthur and Colby Armstrong-Tyler Bozak-Nazem Kadri.
But both Wilson and general manager Brian Burke said one spot on that third unit could be up for grabs between Kadri, Joe Colborne, Matt Frattin and Philippe Dupuis. â€œThat would be what I would see the first three lines right now,â€ Wilson told the Toronto Sun. â€œBut it will be the same as last year: If someone plays better than (Kadri), heâ€™ll start in the minors. Iâ€™m hoping the year of experience both in the American League and with us is only going to make him better.â€
Kadri was the seventh overall selection by the Maple Leafs in the 2009 NHL draft. He has spent the past two seasons shuttling between the parent club and their American Hockey League affiliate the Toronto Marlies. The Leafs begin their regular season on October 6th, hosting the Montreal Canadians. That day will ironically be Nazemâ€™s 21st birthday, and Iâ€™m sure that he could not think of a better way to celebrate his birthday than on the ice with the Maple Leafs.