The Toronto Maple Leafs have barely even introduced former head coach of the Toronto Marlies Sheldon Keefe as the organizations new head coach and now they must play what could arguably be their most emotional game of the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season.
The Maple Leafs will face off against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night and that match up will feature a number of players that will be facing off against their former teammates for the very first time. The Maple Leafs and the Avalanche of course executed a big trade earlier this summer and now 3 pieces of that trade will hit the ice tonight wearing a different jersey as a result of that deal. For the Toronto Maple Leafs it will be forward Alex Kerfoot and defenseman Tyson Barrie that will face off against their former long time teammates on the Colorado Avalanche and on the opposite side of that scale it will be Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri facing off against the Toronto Maple Leafs for the very first time in his NHL career.
Kadri is already an emotional player even at the best of times and there is no doubt that his emotions will be riding extra high this evening when he faces off against his former team. In fact Kadri spoke to the media just hours before the game tonight and made it very clear that he would be showing no mercy on the ice tonight regardless of who it was he was challenging, making sure everyone understood that he would be putting the win over any friendships that he may have had, or still has, with members of Toronto's current roster.
According to a report from Toronto Maple Leafs beat reporter Terry Koshan Kadri has also sent that warning to each and everyone of his former teammates ahead of tonight's big game.
"I told ‘em I was coming after every single one of them," said Kadri. "I don’t think they’d be surprised. I’m kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, going after a few of my buddies. But I’m all about winning. If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes."
Those are some strong words from Kadri, now it's time to see if he lives up to them this evening.