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Kadri Ready For Second Training Camp

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
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There are three questions Leafs fans want answered.

Who will the club land in a possible trade for Tomas Kaberle? Will GM Brian Burke make another move for a top six forward this summer and has Nazem Kadri gained any weight this off-season.

Not since 1949 when Leafs owner Conn Smythe put goalie Turk Broda on a famous crash diet has the scale carried so much weight.

The Leafs returned Kadri, their first choice and seventh overall in 2009 to the London Knights because they considered him too young and too light to play in the NHL. After a sluggish start with the Knights, Kadri finished with a 35-goal, 93 point season in London. He added 27 points in a dozen playoff games.

Senior writer Mike Ulmer caught up with Kadri at Leafs rookie camp to talk about next season and the delights of unlimited eating.

You look bigger?
Kadri: I have gained about 10 pounds since the end of the season.

Ulmer: Let me guess, you’re eating everything.
Kadri: My diet is to eat anything and as much as possible. Obviously, I try to stay in the healthy categories but at times I eat whatever, lots of red meat, chicken, potatoes, rice and vegetables.

Ulmer: And for breakfast?
Kadri: For breakfast I have eggs, pancakes, fresh fruit.

Ulmer: You know you’re in the one per cent of the population who has to eat more, not less.
Kadri: I know. My parents tell me it’s a lot easier to put on weight than lose it.

Ulmer: You were called up for a home Leafs game on Feb. 8 against San Jose. After the disappointment of not making the team, how was playing your first regular-season game as opposed to playing during the pre-season?
Kadri: It was a lot more thrilling. The very first time I was looking to make the team and hopefully stick there for the whole year. I was very depressed when it didn’t happen. The second time I already knew I wasn’t going to be staying. I knew what to expect. It was a one-shot game. I was on cloud nine after that game.

Ulmer:  Was it difficult to accept you needed more time in junior?
Kadri: The coaches and people in management know a lot more than I do. They have been in this business for a long time and I just am starting to make my mark. Whatever they tell me I am going to do to the best of my ability.

Ulmer: You struggled when you went back to London. How did you push yourself through that rut?
Kadri:  When you aren’t playing as well as you can things tend to stick inside your head but, I’m pretty strong mentally and I am able to block those things out. That’s why my season had such a good ending.

Ulmer: How will the second training camp be different from the first?
Kadri: The major thing was I didn’t know what to expect, what we were doing. I couldn’t give my full attention to gaining my weight. Now I know what is going to going be on so I can focus all my attention on getting stronger and bigger and making some more weight. I want this more than anything in  the world. I’m going to go after it.

Ulmer: How much bigger do you want to be?
Kadri: I still have got a couple of months. I am shooting for 192-193. I’m about 185-186. I’ve got eight weeks to put on five or six pounds. It’s doable.
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