NHL Rumors: Toronto Maple Leafs Could Trade Nazem Kadri

By Casey Drottar
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest stories of the offseason was the contract standoff between the Toronto Maple Leafs and forward Nazem Kadri.

Kadri spent his first full — albeit, lockout shortened — season in the NHL turning heads with the Leafs. He scored an impressive 44 points in 48 games, thanks to 18 goals and 26 assists. He also added a goal and three assists during the first round of the playoffs before Toronto was eliminated by the Boston Bruins. As the year ended, so did Kadri’s contract, and it seemed both he and the team had different ideas as far as how his next deal would look.

Understandably, the Leafs were wary about giving Kadri a big deal to reward his recent campaign because it was essentially based on just one year. Kadri, however, was reported to be looking for something along the lines of $5.5 million a year for six years, or as some would note, the exact opposite of what Toronto was thinking. The holdout eventually dragged into training camp, as the Leafs hardly wanted to tie up a ton of cap space by signing a player they hadn’t seen play a full 82 game season yet.

Eventually, though, the two sides found something they could agree upon, and Toronto signed the center to a two-year, $2.9 million contract. Kadri’s holdout didn’t result in missing any games, and all was right with the world again.

And now it might not be anymore.

Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting that there is a “strong chance” Toronto might deal Kadri, with hopes of getting a center back in return. Quite a surprise after all the stress that went into resigning the young forward.

Kadri is having a decent year, with eleven goals and 16 assists in 45 games. The numbers aren’t terrible, but his point-per-game average has gone from .92 last year to .6 this season. He also is not exactly a defensive superstar, as his -12 plus/minus rating is among the worst on his team. Bottom line; Kadri is doing just OK, but the team appears to be questioning whether or not he’s worth the money they gave him. His cap friendly deal might make him attractive to more than a few clubs across the league, though.

On the upside, Leafs’ GM Dave Nonis has to be giving himself a pat on the back for not buckling to the six year deal Kadri was rumored to be asking for this summer. Otherwise, his chances of trading Kadri away would’ve been slim to none.

Casey Drottar is an NHL writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @CDrottar19 or “Like” him on Facebook


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