It is a tumultuous time in the land of the Toronto Maple Leafs right now coming off the heels of the recent firing of Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock, and the next few games may very well determine how both fans and pundits will perceive the current state of the team moving forward.
In the midst of all that however the Maple Leafs are set to play what will undoubtedly be one of their most emotional games of the regular season when they take on the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. That is because for both teams it will be a reunion of sorts after the two teams pulled off a rather big trade during the offseason, one that saw former Toronto Maple Leafs Nazem Kadri and Calle Rosen traded to the Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Alex Kerfoot. It will be the first time that Kadri, Kerfoot and Barrie will face their former teams and there is no doubt that this will add an extra layer of intensity to tonight's contest between the two squads.
Perhaps no player will have a more emotional time of things that longtime member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Nazem Kadri, a player who plays with a great deal of passion in all situations. Kadri had clearly become accustomed to being a Maple Leafs and had fallen in love with the city of Toronto, something that was made clear when he attempted to block the Maple Leafs' attempts to trade him during the offseason. Kadri also has a rather unique perspective regarding the current state of the Maple Leafs due to the fact that he played for former head coach Mike Babcock during his era in Toronto, but now finds himself playing for a rival team as he returns to town.
Kadri was asked what he thought about the decision from Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas to fire his former head coach and, when you consider some of the things former players have said regarding Babcock over this past week, Kadri gave a somewhat surprising answer. Kadri made it clear that he felt Babcock did a good job during his time there, very interesting given reports this week that most players were relieved to see him go.
"I personally think Babs is a great coach," said Kadri to reports on Saturday.