With the gaping hole they have up the middle right now, the Maple Leafs can ill afford to lose another centre.

Yet, that's the position Nazem Kadri might have put his team into after he ploughed into Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom in the first period of Toronto's 2-1 shootout defeat at the Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday night.

Already missing David Bolland (tendon surgery) and Tyler Bozak (hamstring) to injury, the potential of losing Kadri to supplementary discipline for flattening Backstrom would leave the Leafs with out-of-position James van Riemsdyk, the defensive-minded Jay McClement and recently-signed journeyman Jerred Smithson as their top three centres. No offence to those three gamers, but that trio hardly leaves teams quivering in their skates.

If that wasn't bad enough, Kadri followed that up by what the officials deemed to be a head shot to the Wild's Mikael Granlund and was assessed a match penalty in the third period.

If at first you don't get the attention of the league's disciplinarians, well, just try, try again.

Trust us. The league will be reviewing Kadri's antics. So said NHL VP Mike Murphy.

"The (safety department) looks at everything ,,, so I'm sure it will be assessed," Murphy told the Sun via e-mail Wednesday night regarding the Backstrom incident.

Kadri is at his best when he plays with an edge. Coach Randy Carlyle loves it when the young forward shows that high level of compete.

But when the kid repeatedly crosses the line like he did Wednesday night, well, he's not really helping his team much if he's watching games in street clothes, now is he?