The Leafs are making moves. It was just announced that Toronto will be swapping out centre Nazem Kadri for the likes of William Nylander in a controversial move that will place Nylander on the team's third line right behind Auston Matthews and John Tavares. The decision to replace Leafs centre Kadri with Nylander is being met with some strong reactions from fans.
According to a report by Global News, Kadri was scheduled to appear at an in-person hearing with the NHL's department of player safety today in New York. The player was there to explain the reasoning behind his vicious cross-checks to Bruins' Jake DeBrusk during the heated third period of what ended up being a devastating game for Toronto. Boston smoked Toronto 4-1 on Saturday night in Game 2, ending the Leafs' shortlived victory march and tieing the series at 1-1.
The league currently has the option to suspend Kadri for five more games, though there has been no word on where they stand on that front.
Leafs fans were less than thrilled to learn that Nylander would be stepping up to replace the hot-headed Kadri. Many fans showed the player no mercy as they attacked him over his current stats, with some even going as far as to go after his supposed lack of heart:
Bahahaha he was the only guy who showed heart and scored, but nah we won't miss him! Austin Who? Nylander has no heart!— Billym3 (@billym370) April 15, 2019
Just going to get the first intermission out of the way now: Nylander is a great player, but I'm sorry he's terrible.— Freddy MacGruber (@spookyeugene) April 15, 2019
Nylander needs to go— ethan pigou (@EthanPigou) April 15, 2019
At what point do we start to say Nylander is the problem? He was horrendous in Game 2 plus gave Boston a goal.— Jaker (@jaker_nofehr) April 15, 2019
Kadri's teammates are sticking by him through the drama, with Matthews praising the often fiery centre for giving the team an edge. “He’s obviously gritty, a guy who does it right, a big part of the team,” Matthews explained. “We need other people to step up. We’ve lost him before. We feel like depth on this team is something we have and we can take advantage of.”
Nylander was faulty during the regular season, capping it off with just seven goals and 20 assists. According to TSN, it was a stalling contract that robbed the centre of both training camp and the first two months of the year, which really affected his playing this season. However, Nylander has been supposedly been waiting for an opportunity to prove his worth, and he might have just found it.