TORONTO — In the latest turn in the saga of the Toronto Maple Leafs, forward Nazem Kadri was sent home from practice by an unhappy Peter Horachek for missing a team meeting.
When Kadri showed up late to the team’s practice facility, Horachek opted to send him home before practice started Sunday morning. Asked why the 24-year-old centre wasn’t on time, the Leafs’ interim coach said Kadri was “not prepared. It wasn’t the snow.”
Kadri’s absence, on the first day of daylight saving time, came the morning after a 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Horachek felt his team put forth “no effort” in the blowout defeat.
The Maple Leafs host the New York Islanders on Monday night, and Horachek said Kadri is available to play — “if I want him.”
Trevor Smith took Kadri’s spot in line rushes at practice between Leo Komarov and Richard Panik. Kadri was the only healthy player who did not skate.
Horachek was seething after the loss to the Blues but waited until the morning to address players. Holding a short but serious practice on a Sunday morning sent his message.
“That’s the message: You’re going to have to work, you have to be a pro, you have to show up every day,” Horachek said. “You can’t show up and put half an effort onto the ice.”
Horachek said he thinks players “understand where we are and what we have to do.”
The Leafs will play their remaining 16 games without veteran defenceman Stephane Robidas, who will have surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his left shoulder. Robidas has been dealing with that injury and lingering issues from a broken leg he suffered last year, so the organization decided to shut him down.
Robidas, 38, is expected to be ready for training camp, according to Horachek.