The CBC’s Don Cherry delivered a scathing criticism on Twitter of the Toronto Maple Leafs handling of prospect Nazem Kadri.
Kadri reported to the Toronto Marlies (AHL) training camp out of shape, and his eating habits have since been scrutinized by head coach Dallas Eakins.
A seventh overall pick in the 2009 NHL entry draft, Kadri has struggled to stay in the Maple Leafs’ lineup.
Cherry, a veteran broadcaster on Hockey Night in Canada jumped to the London native’s defence on Tuesday afternoon. The Coach’s Corner host unleashed a four-part series of comments on the social networking site.
“I have never in my life seen a kid treated like Nazem Kadri by the Leafs”, tweeted Cherry from his @CoachsCornerCBC moniker.
Cherry then focused his remarks on Eakins’ comments on the centre’s diet, and ended with a bleak commentary on the organization.
“Marlie coach comes out and rips Kadri in the newspaper saying he doesn’t eat properly. Imagine headlines saying he’s chubby and fatso.
“If anyone wants to get a blue print on how to destroy someone, just follow the Toronto Maple Leafs,” said Cherry.
Kadri notched five goals and two assists for the Maple Leafs in 21 games. However, he spent most of his season with the Marlies, amassing 40 points in 48 games with the club.
The former London Knight had worked with fitness and nutrition guru and ex-Leaf Gary Roberts in the off-season to improve his conditioning levels.
Cherry would also make a comparison to Toronto’s Nikolai Kulemin, who saw his goal total drop from 30 in 2010-11, to a mere seven in 2011-12.
“They don’t blast Kulemin who scored 7 goals. They give him 5 million dollars.”
Eakins had spoken at length on Friday on Kadri’s proclivity for unhealthy food, and the fact that junior hockey players often overlook proper nutrition habits before transitioning to the professional level.
“The one thing Kadri has to improve is his eating habits,” said Eakins to the Toronto Star.
“His body fat today is probably in the bottom three to five guys in our whole camp. That’s unacceptable.”
Toronto plays its first regular season game against the Rochester Americans at Ricoh Coliseum next Saturday.