Teammates will do almost anything to help each other out, but Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri is doing so in a painful way. Kadri will be out for up to a month with a knee sprain suffered against Ottawa on Tuesday night. The 2009 first round pick was looking to break out this season as a full-time starter for Toronto but now that potential breakout will be put on hold.
On the flip side of that, Kadri’s knee injury opens the door for new Leafs prospect Matt Frattin to show he can cut it in the NHL. Frattin is the Hobey Baker Award finalist from North Dakota who signed with Toronto after completing play in the NCAA back in the spring. Frattin was an electric goal scorer for the Fighting Sioux but in Toronto he’ll get to be a net-crashing forward on the third or fourth line.
It’s an unfortunate setback for Kadri as Leafs fans have been hoping to see him get his chance to fully bust out on a nightly basis in the NHL, but it’s a tremendous opportunity for Frattin to show what he’s got against NHL competition. At 23 years-old after spending all four years at North Dakota, he’s a rookie but an older, more experienced one.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.