After a 32-goal season with the Stanley Cup winning Colorado Avalanche, ex-Toronto Maple Leafs’ third-line center Nazem Kadri signed a big contract two days ago with the Calgary Flames. It’s an interesting signing because, for the moment, the Flames are a much better team.
But the signing also raises a number of questions. In this post, I’m going to share five random thoughts about the signing, some with relation to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Leafs TV, Rising Prospects & Kane
Random Thought #1: Is There a Shelf Life on Kadri’s Contract?
There’s likely a shelf life on Kardi’s contract. It works for right now, but the length of the term is likely to make it grow stale in a few seasons. It’s not unlike the contract that the Edmonton Oilers’ general manager signed with Zach Hyman. Great for the moment, and hopeful that moment will last. Give both contracts three or four years to see how well they hold up.
Random Thought #2: The Flames Had to Pay More than Kadri’s Contract
Under the terms of the contract, the Flames will pay Kadri $7 million each year for the next seven years. When his contract ends, he’ll be 38 years old. However, the cost of the contract is not the only thing the Flames had to pay.
In addition to signing Kadri, to find the salary-cap space, the Flames had to move out a sizable contract. That contract was Sean Monahan. In order to get the Montreal Canadiens to take on Monahan’s contract, the Flames also had to dump the Canadiens a first-round draft pick as a way to clear salary-cap space.
Random Thought #3: The Flames Should Be a Threat This Season, But for How Long?
Calgary looks like a team that’s going for it now, giving themselves a window of at least the next three years. Calgary should be considered a favorite in the West. But look at the ages of their key players.
Kadri is 31 years old; Jonathan Huberdeau just turned 29, Mikael Backland is 33, Milan Lucic is 34, and Tyler Toffoli is 30. It’s an aging group, with a large number of Flames’ players who are 30 years of age, or almost. Maple Leafs fans might think their team is in a win-now mode, so Toronto is not alone in being a team that’s going for it now.
Related: FOUR NEW MAPLE NEWS SIGNINGS: GAUDETTE, AUBE-KUBEL, HILDEBY & SAMSONOV
Random Thought #4: How Much of a One-Off Was Kadri’s Season?
There’s no doubt that Kadri’s season was his best season so far – by a long shot. Kadri scored 87 points at the age of 31. His career total is now 512 points. It was his 13th season. Even with about three of those seasons at the start of his career being far from full seasons, this one season is far more than he’s ever scored before. It’s also more than 35 points past his career average season’s total.
Can he keep up the high-scoring pace or will he slide back into a pace that’s more like his career average of about 55 points a season?
Random Thought #5: CBS’s Auston Nivison Sums It Up Well
In a post yesterday, Austin Nivision summed up why the Flames signed Kadri to such a good deal for him. As Nivison noted, despite Kadri’s advancing age, he’s exactly the player the Flames needed to fuel its Stanley Cup hopes.
Nivison noted, “That contract probably won’t look great over the last few years, but that’s not what Calgary is worried about right now. Kadri helps keep the team’s Stanley Cup window open, and the Western Conference is up for grabs behind the Colorado Avalanche. Kadri is coming off a career year in which he scored 28 goals and totaled 87 points en route to winning it all with the Avs, and he will fit well behind Elias Lindholm as the Flames’ second-line center. At 31, Kadri does come with age concerns, but those did not show at all in 2021-22.”
Related: How Many Points Will Maple Leafs’ Core Four Score this Season?
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August 20, 2022 at 12:44 pm
I think the pre Kadri moves by Calgary have been good. I find the Kadri signing to be a tad desperate. Cost 3 to 4 extra years of contract, Monaghan and a First to be relevant for the next three years. Kadri is good, but Calgary is not the same offensive juggernaut as Colorado. Feel he is overrated. I don’t think he will replicate last seasons production.
August 20, 2022 at 6:37 pm
I don’t disagree – it seems that it’s an example of a GM going for the fences and worrying about the future somewhere down the road
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