Leafs find new approach works wonders for Nazem Kadri

A little positivity goes a long way for Nazem Kadri.
Charles LeClaire/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Sometimes all a person needs in life is a little positivity. It seems Nazem Kadri is one of those people who benefits greatly from praise, as he said life under Mike Babcock is a breath of fresh air following a past full of criticism. 

Kadri is off to a decent start this season, recording three points (one goal, two assists) in six games, and he said communication with Babcock has been key. 

“I have daily conversations with him,” Kadri told the Ottawa Citizen. “He always brings me in and has some sort of advice for me, which is nice. Anything the coach has to say to me I’m going to take it with a grain of salt and try to utilize it but in past years, communication has been lacking a little bit. It’s just nice to have that daily conversation about what you need to do or what we should be doing or what you’ve done well.”

Kadri is in a make-it-or-break-it year, as the Leafs gave him a one-year, $4.1 million contract to prove he deserves a long-term career with the team. The hesitance to lock him up long-term seems understandable given that Kadri's stats have declined over the last two years and the team suspended him for poor off-ice behavior last year. The 25-year-old, a former seventh overall draft pick, clearly has talent, however, and now is the time for him to prove it. 

(h/t Ottawa Citizen)

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