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Is Selling High on Nazem Kadri a Good Idea for the Avalanche?

Nazem Kadri is off to an incredible start for the Colorado Avalanche. Should he be extended or traded before the deadline?

Nazem Kadri is off to an incredible start this season. Now with six goals and 23 points — five and 19 of them during a current, career-best nine-game point streak — he’s shown up for the Avalanche while first-line center Nathan MacKinnon has been out with an injury. Kadri wanted to have a better year and he’s certainly done so, but it’s reasonable to ask if how good he’s been is a sign he’s going to continue producing or a hot streak that the Avalanche might want to take advantage of.

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Avs’ fans might recall it wasn’t long ago that Kadri was ruled out of playing the final stretch of games for the Avalanche last season when a suspension took him out of the postseason. It wasn’t just a bad hit on Justin Faulk that got him in hot water with the organization and the fan base, it was a poor season offensively that made put him at the top of most discussion boards when it came to possible trades from the Avalanche roster.

Kadri is a pending UFA who is on a tremendous run. Traditionally, this is the kind of scenario where a team sells high… assuming they aren’t in the playoff mix. As is, the Avalanche are just on the outside and looking in.

Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche season start

It’s not wise for the Avs to move him now that they’re down MacKinnon and still fighting for a spot in the postseason, but it’s certainly fair to ask if trading Kadri, while he’s on such a hot streak, is the best long-term play for Colorado. The often-controversial center is going to try and capitalize on a big season and land one more home run in free agency. There’s going to be a huge risk if the Avs pay big on a player for this one season and it might be best to let another team make that mistake.

And, if Kadri continues to show well heading into the NHL trade deadline, the Avs can ask for a lot and probably get it. The question will become what the trade-off is. Do the Avs risk moving a key part of what could be a major producer in the playoffs? There’s no guarantee based on his history that he’ll be able to keep himself in the lineup. Or, do they move the player and get the best possible return when MacKinnon is back?

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said, “Right now his stick is magic.” How long will that magic last? It’s a fair question.

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