TORONTO – Nazem Kadri will not play against the Sharks because of the death of his grandfather.
Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said Kadri left the team Tuesday morning because of a death in the family and would not be available to play against San Jose.
Centre Peter Holland is expected to take Kadri’s place in the lineup. Holland did line rushes between Mason Raymond and Nikolai Kulemin at the morning skate.
“Obviously Naz leaves a bit of a hole in our lineup, something that’s got to be filled if we want to be successful,” Holland said. “He helps this team win, so if I’m in the lineup I need to do my part to help this team win. Just try and develop some chemistry as quick as I can with those guys.”
Since being acquired in a Nov. 16 trade with the Anaheim Ducks, Holland has done just about everything for Toronto. He centred the top line of James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel beginning in his Leafs debut, has played down the lineup and been a healthy scratch.
Holland said the key was to always be ready, but this is yet another new role for the 22-year-old.
“To some extent you’re always just trying to do what got you here to this level and made you successful, so you’re trying to play your game,” Holland said. “But there’s minor adjustments. Like if you play with a Kessel and a van Riemsdyk, you might try and make more plays and get them the puck a little bit more. If you’re playing with Kuli and Mase, let’s get in harder on the forecheck, let’s try and cause turnovers versus Kessel and van Riemsdyk are really good at scoring off the rush.
“We may have to turn pucks over to get our opportunities. You’ve got to do the similar things to be successful, but I don’t think your mind-set changes too much.”
Kadri, a native of London, Ont., has seven goals and 10 assists in 24 games this season.
Carlyle called defenceman Cody Franson a “game-time decision” with a lower-body injury. The coach said he had not yet consulted with medical personnel after the morning skate.
Franson did not play in Saturday’s loss at the Montreal Canadiens after being injured Friday in Buffalo.