Don Cherry to Nazem Kadri: ‘Smarten up… You played stupid’

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Don Cherry had a very simple message for Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri during Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night: Smarten up.

Sean Fitz-Gerald of The National Post shares Cherry’s advice to Kadri.

“You know how I like this guy,” Cherry said. “How he could do what he did; hit the goaltender, he could have been suspended twice … Smarten up, Kadri. Nazem, you know what I think of you, but you played stupid. They could use you right now.”

Kadri is serving a three-game suspension for running, and injuring, Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom and his absence along with injuries to Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland put the Leafs in a bind up the middle. They played both games of their home-and-home set against the Buffalo Sabres and will play Tuesday’s game against the New York Islanders without Kadri.

In the meantime, they’ve had to call up Trevor Smith from the AHL and acquired Peter Holland from the Anaheim Ducks to help fill ranks at center. Kadri will return on Thursday night when the Leafs face the Nashville Predators.