Nazem Kadri – C
This is a bit of a controversial pick, but the Maple Leafs are getting younger and getting more and more different with Mike Babcock in the picture. Dion Phaneuf is the star of the team and the leader, but there needs to be hope for the future and that’s where Kadri comes into play.
He was troubled last season and needs to be straightened out, but Babcock is the perfect guy to take him under his wing and mold him. Babcock has coached some fantastic players in his years back in Detroit, and if he can turn Kadri around and mine his best abilities then it could help give the Leafs some serious hope for the future. It’s not a small task, but this could be a huge year for Kadri both on and off the ice.
Best Case Scenario
It’s hard to be optimistic about a team that was as big a dumpster fire as the Leafs were last season, but there were major moves made to try and rectify things. Mike Babcock coming to town is a huge step in the right direction, and will tell us just how salvageable this situation is.
If Babcock can’t fix this mess, no one can. The best case scenario is that the Leafs will begin to drift in the right direction with the gentle push of Babcock in charge of things. It’s going to be a slow build, but any sort of positive progress is going to be a good thing for the Leafs and their fans.
Worst Case Scenario
While Babcock is a hockey guru and the perfect coach to lean on in this tumultuous time, there’s the possibility that the wheels haven’t totally fallen all the way off yet. This isn’t a quick fix situation for Toronto, and Babcock might still have some weeds to pluck and throw away before he can officially start putting his stamp on the team.
Things can get really bad though if Babcock has to spend this season weeding out things that don’t work with his system as we might not have seen the Maple Leafs truly hit bottom yet. They might need that in order to officially rebuild the proper way.
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