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The Oilers Should Reach Out to Avs About a Nazem Kadri Trade

There are going to be interesting questions that need answers for both the Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers this offseason. Intriguingly, one of them has to do with the same type of player, but each team has a different need. For the Avs, they might need to move some money while getting rid of problem. For the Oilers, they need to find a third-line center with top-six skill, a problem they’ve not found a solution for in a while.

The Oilers have had Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but over the past couple of seasons, he’s been more winger than a center. And, because he’s potentially about to hit the free agent market, he might not be back with Edmonton at all. Meanwhile, the Avalanche are waiting for Nazem Kadri to get back in the lineup thanks to an eight-game suspension. He may see some time during the 2020-21 postseason if the Avs make it past the Vegas Golden Knights, but there’s no telling what his future holds in Colorado as the team has salary cap issues to look after and might be at their wits end with the player.

Could Colorado and Edmonton scratch each other’s backs here?

If we assume that Avs’ GM Joe Sakic has decided Kadri is expendable and that his propensity for getting suspended when the team needs him most is unacceptable, he might try to move Kadri for pennies on the dollar. Freeing up Kadri’s $4.5 million for next season has value. For the Oilers, taking a flyer on a player that should be able to offer some of that depth they need has value too. If Kadri doesn’t work out, they Oilers can move on, that is, assuming they don’t give up a lot to acquire him.

Kadri and the Oilers: The Good and the Bad

There are reasons for GM Ken Holland to look at this and reasons not to. The first plus is that Kadri is a proven offensive talent, who when playing up to his potential, is quite effective on both sides of the puck. He’s aggravated Connor McDavid on a few occasions which only means he’s doing his job well and it would be nice for the Oilers to have him on their side versus have to repeatedly play against him.

Kadri is also capable of playing second-line center minutes should the Oilers lean towards McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the same line.

Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche Trade Rumors
Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche Trade Rumors

The bad is that Kadri has shown he’s incapable of learning how not to get in trouble. This is a veteran now with more than 11 seasons in the NHL and he continually makes the same mistakes when it comes to being disciplined by the league. The Oilers don’t just need a player who can help them in the regular season, but will get them over the first-round jitters that have kept insiders from calling the Oilers a real contender.

The Ask is the Big Contributing Factor

In theory, this could be something the Oilers consider looking into. That said, the conversation should be a quick one if the ask from Colorado is high. Edmonton could benefit from a trade like this, but not if they have to give up a lot to acquire Kadri.

It’s as likely he’s a one-year rental as it is he meshes with the core of this team and the Oilers see a long-term future for him in Edmonton. If he has a rebound year, he’ll probably test free agency. If he doesn’t, or he can’t shake his bad habits, the Oilers will probably walk at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Next: Nathan MacKinnon Willing to Take Less Again on Next Deal

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