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Maple Leafs’ Kadri owns up to bad penalty, tantrum in box

RALEIGH — Nazem Kadri dipped his toe — or in this case, the butt end of his stick — over the line on Wednesday night, and the Maple Leafs centre was adamant it won’t happen again.

Oh, Kadri is not going to stop being the kind of hockey pest who loves to skate to the edge, peer over and wonder what he might do next to irritate opponents. It’s what makes him effective, along with his impact in both the offensive and defensive zones.

But when Kadri accidentally struck the face of a penalty-box official at the BB&T Center with the end of his stick toward the conclusion of regulation in the Leafs’ game against the Florida Panthers, Kadri knew he was in the wrong.

“I feel terrible about it,” Kadri, who was not available to reporters following the game, said after the Leafs practised at the PNC Arena on Thursday afternoon.

“I kind of got out of control. I didn’t even realize I hit him, to be honest with you, until I saw the replay afterward.

“I must have apologized to him a thousand times in the penalty box. Hopefully he forgave me. I tried reaching out to him and I’m going to send him something just to solidify my apology. But I’m sincere about that. I lost control and that won’t happen again.”

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