Kadri, a restricted free agent coming off a breakout year, was asking for a huge new contract. The Leafs, cash-strapped and still needing to sign defenseman Cody Franson, were not about to meet Kadri’s demands. The team was right in holding strong, since Kadri’s huge offensive output came in a lockout-shortened season and is really the only standout season in his young career. Toronto wanted to see more out of him before handing him big money.
The holdout was getting ugly, and Kadri was refusing to participate in the Leafs’ offseason camp. Toronto, however, held strong, stating the bridge contract they offered the young forward would look the same even if they weren’t pressed up against the salary cap.
As we know, in these holdouts someone always blinks before the other. Now, it appears finally Kadri blinked.
Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet has reported the Leafs have struck a deal that officially ends Kadri’s holdout. As far as money, TSN‘s Bob McKenzie is reporting that GM Dave Nonis was able to settle this dispute with a two year, $2.9 million contract.
This is about as win-win as it gets. There was no way Kadri was getting a long-term deal. Bottom line; Toronto just didn’t have the money he was asking for. Not only that, one great season shouldn’t earn someone a mammoth contract, especially a season that was only 48 games long.
Meanwhile, Toronto saves face in putting this whole issue to bed before the preseason starts. They also have some room to try and work on Franson’s deal. A team that is looking pretty thin on the blue line can hardly afford to lose any defensemen.
Regardless, we’ve officially reached the end of one of the more tedious contract standoffs of the offseason. It was smart of Kadri to realize he wasn’t getting the money he thought he deserved. He can rest assured knowing that, if he keeps up the point production, he’ll eventually see the dollars he was hoping for this time around.