Nazem Kadri Answers The Bell And The Hockey Questionnaire.

Kadri

For a guy who makes a handsome living built on fractions of sentences, Nazem Kadri isn’t a particularly patient guy.

Ask him about the one thing he would change about himself and the 23-year-old London native sites the need to be willing to wait.

“I would be more patient,” Kadri said in his Five Questions feature. “I can get impatient and agitated sometimes. Sometimes I have to breathe and relax.”

He is breathing pretty easily right now.

In the three games he has played with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk Kadri has scored ...

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Clarkson’s return means Leafs will stand a little taller.

The Leafs will benefit from the ferocity displayed by David Clarkson when he left the bench to confront Buffalo

Ten games gone and really what’s been lost?

The Leafs will benefit from the ferocity displayed by David Clarkson when he left the bench to confront Buffalo’s giant John Scott.

David Clarkson returns to the Leafs’ lineup Friday in Columbus after his ten-game suspension for leaving the bench to defend Phil Kessel’s honour against Buffalo’s vast John Scott.

Along the way Clarkson lost $269,000 in salary but you get the feeling he will still be fine financially.

The Leafs, meanwhile lost only three of the 10 games he sat out.  Their 14 points ...

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The invisible man: The Carl Gunnarsson story.

gunnarssonulmer620

Carl Gunnarsson is the invisible man.

Unnoticed, even in the hottest hockey market, the 26-year-old Gunnarsson is regularly among the top five Leafs in ice time. He was third last season with 21:16, second the year before.

This season he sits fourth in ice time among defenceman with 19:31 behind Phaneuf, Cody Franson and Jake Gardiner but he is the only member of that group who doesn’t see power play time. Gunnarsson’s three and half minutes on the penalty kill leads the blueliners.

Unlike most hockey players, you would reflexively define Gunnarsson by ...

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Marlies defenceman T.J. Brennan is on a run for the ages

TJBrennan

T.J. Brennan is on fire.

The Marlies defenceman scored seven goals in the Marlies first three games. He has two hat tricks and 10 points.

There is no precedent for this kind of offensive output by a Marlies defenceman. Even if you look North, Brennan’s feat is a staggering rarity. The last hat trick scored by a Leaf defenceman was authored by Ian Turnbull 31 years ago.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Marlies goalie Drew MacIntyre, a 10-year pro, “but I played with T.J. in Rochester (in 2011-2012) and I know ...

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If Leafs Stay Defensive 100 Points in Reach

Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer would be the key elements of a 100-point season.

Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer would be the key elements of a 100-point season.

Are the Leafs a 100-point team?

Of course they’re not, silly. They only have 12 points.

So how to explain the deluge of good fortune that is a 6-1 record with only one overwhelmingly convincing  victory (last weeks’ 4-0 win over Nashville) in the mix?

Let me give you a hint: the Leafs are actually better than people are saying because they are dramatically improved in the only stat that counts.

They are certainly better than what Randy Carlyle is ...

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Marlies prospect makes sure things don’t blow up in his face.

gibson600oct11

It is a testament to Christopher Gibson’s dexterity that the Toronto Marlies 20-year-old goalie handles the puck as he would a hand grenade.

He has handled hand grenades. He prefers pucks but sometimes they don’t give the kid a choice.

Gibson is one of the more arresting stories on the Marlies, a private in the Finnish army who this summer fulfilled half of the 180 days of military service every Finnish male is obliged to provide. His North American peers, meanwhile, hung out at the cottage and worked out.

The Leafs tendered Gibson ...

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One in 10,000 chance lands fan chance to drop puck

brent644oct4

It has been 20 years since Brian Brett dropped a puck and barring a recall on gravity he will do it again.

This time, though, there will be 20,000 spectators.

Brian Brett is the winner of the Leafs Drop The Puck contest.

Brian is a 32-year-old Brampton resident who works in marketing. He is also the winner of the Leafs Drop the Puck contest and as such will handle the ceremonial puck drop between Ottawa captain Jason Spezza and Dion Phaneuf when the Leafs open against the Senators.

Brian’s name was drawn from ...

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Smith tabbed to wear the deep blue C

Trevor Smith was named the

When you meet Vincent Lecavalier or Sidney Crosby and you are a brother hockey player they look you in the eye, extend their right hands and say: “Vincent Lecavalier” or “Sidney Crosby.”

Trevor Smith was named the

That experience stayed with the Trevor Smith, bestowed the captaincy of the Toronto Marlies Friday in a press conference at the Ricoh Coliseum.

The 28-year-centreman is a first time pro captain but his resume shows seven minor league teams going onto eight years.

In between are 24 NHL games, seven with the New York Islanders in ...

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Kessel signing speaks volumes about himself, Nonis.

Get used to more of this

By inducing Phil Kessel to sign an eight-year contract extension for a widely reported sum of $64 million, Dave Nonis has put his most significant stamp on the Maple Leafs.

Get used to more of this

Nonis has been busy. He lured free agent David Clarkson and traded for goalie Jonathan Bernier and super-pest Dave Bolland.

But in each of those circumstances, Nonis had circumstance in his favor.

Clarkson, a Toronto native, loved the team since childhood and likely rejected a bit more money to be a Leaf.

The LA Kings knew they could ...

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Bolland-McClement-Kulemin: Leafs third line?

Dave Bolland

Dave Bolland’s offence, neatly illustrated by his Stanley Cup-winning goal against Boston, could give the Leafs third line some scoring juice

There are two things  you can anticipate with Randy Carlyle.

First, he will devise countless lineups and combinations. “Last year was my first with Randy and he played me all over the place,” is the way forward Jay McClement put it.

Second, his teams will have a strong third line.

Carlyle’s 2006-2007 Stanley Cup-winning Anaheim team thrived with a checking line that consisted of Sammy Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen.

Once the home ...

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