Dallas Eakins Made a Mistake Criticizing Leafs Prospect Nazem Kadri's Fitness

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Dallas Eakins Made a Mistake Criticizing Leafs Prospect Nazem Kadri's Fitness
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Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry made some very strong comments on Tuesday in reaction to what Toronto Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins said about talented Maple Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri's body fat last week when the team's training camp began.

Kadri, meanwhile, didn't have the same opinion on his overall fitness as his coach.

Cherry used his Twitter account to share his opinion on the situation.

Cherry criticism is quite strong, but it's hard to disagree with much of what he said. Even if Kadri came into camp overweight and out of shape, you never tell the media that information, especially when you're in a media market like Toronto where this kind of news becomes a bigger deal than it really is.

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It's shocking that Eakins would address Kadri's unimpressive body fat levels with the media ahead of an incredibly important season for the young forward. That's terrible coaching, and it may be hard for Kadri to trust Eakins now that he's made this information public.

Kadri should not have come into camp with unacceptable fitness levels, especially after he trained with former Leafs star Gary Roberts in the offseason. Roberts' training program is very beneficial for players who are looking to get stronger and improve their eating habits, among other things.

Kadri has a responsibility to take care of his body in the offseason, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Eakins made an awful mistake by announcing to reporters that the young forward did not meet the team's fitness levels.

Eakins is one of the best coaches in the AHL, and helped lead the Marlies to the Calder Cup Final last season. He should know that his comments weren't going to benefit Kadri in any way, and were only going to make matters worse.

You don't criticize a top prospect in this manner, especially one such as Kadri, who has had a difficult time making the NHL roster.

The Leafs organization has mismanaged Kadri for a few years now, and it's clear that the only way he will flourish as an NHL player is to leave Toronto.

Nicholas Goss is an NHL lead writer at Bleacher Report. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Follow him on Twitter.

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