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Avalanche offseason

Nazem Kadri Situation Starting To Become A Drag



Day 6. Almost a week has gone by now, and lots of free agents have yet to put pen to paper on new contracts, Nazem Kadri being among the most conspicuously unsigned. It seems like everybody – maybe some of those other unsigned free agents – are waiting on him to make a decision where he wants to play.

It’s been assumed that he’s coming back to the Colorado Avalanche, and that the only thing holding up a happy return is the Avalanche trying to clear the necessary cap space to fit him in. I’m not so sure about that anymore. If I were laying odds on him coming back to the Avalanche, I’d probably put them at 30-70 now. Maybe 20-80.

Nazem Kadri is going to be just fine, and make a lot of money somewhere next season. But, based on what I’m starting to hear from a couple people around him, he’s growing frustrated at the situation. Kadri, it seems, hasn’t gotten the blowout offers he thought he might – and that includes from the Avalanche. The Avalanche are saying nothing at all about what’s going on. Zero.

So, he’s kind of sitting around, waiting still. He’s still got offers on the table from what I gather, but from teams he may not want to play for, either because of their location or their lack of contending status or both. Maybe a team or two that he wouldn’t mind playing for – and maybe wouldn’t mind having him – doesn’t have enough cap space.

The Avalanche? I think that’s still the most desired location and team. But I don’t think the offer on the table is exactly what he’d hoped. So, he’s still weighing his options. The Avalanche would put themselves over the cap by signing him and they would have to shed salary somehow by the final day of training camp.

Superstreak Bonus!

After this coming season, guys needing new contracts include Nathan MacKinnon, Bo Byram and J.T. Compher. MacKinnon is likely to sign an extension to his current deal, but the cap hit won’t take effect until 2023-24. But it’s going to be a big number. I’m guessing about $11 million per. I just don’t think the Avalanche can give Kadri a really long-term deal, with everybody else on long-term deals as well – guys who are younger. If Kadri comes back, it might have to be on a short-term deal – and of course he’s going to want as much term as he can get. He can get more term with other teams, but he’ll know he has little hope of playing for another Stanley Cup anytime soon. So, here we are.

Like I said, Kadri will be just fine. But I’m not as much of an optimist anymore that he’ll be back. Hey, anything can happen still. Situations evolve and change rapidly in this business. I have to believe something will happen soon either way, as I doubt Kadri and other teams want to have their whole summer dragged down by this.

Colorado Hockey Now editor-in-chief Adrian Dater has covered the Avalanche since 1995

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Adam Manter

If Kadri signs elsewhere, what is the plan for the second line center? Is it Mikko, is it elevating another player is it trading for a center?

Karl Keen

Stasny is still available but will drag down our team speed? Could move Mikko like you said to center and then sign another winger like Sonny Milano; or Give Newhook the 2nd line reigns and see if he steps up. He is not a grinder and the longer we keep him on the 3rd line, the less he will score. He needs to improve his face-off percentage though. If he isn’t working out, we an swing a deal at the trade deadline for a 2nd line center assuming we keep enough cap space. I would like Kadri back for sure,… Read more »

Peter North

Yuck. Stastny burned a bridge with Sakic. Let’s hope not, ever, never!

Glendon Gulliver

What is Colorado’s plan if Kadri does not re-sign, is the big question! There are no real 2C’s on the market anymore. There are several 3rd line forwards still available to help make up the loss of offense. Compher had his career best year with 18 goals and 33 points. Newhook also had 33 points, mostly playing on the wing. Rantanen has filled in at center, but has not really played much there and if he moves to center, who then fills in at right wing? If they do move Compher to 2C, then getting one of the remaining UFA… Read more »


Just send Kadri on his way already. Then we can move on to signing someone like Evan Rodrigues.

With Kadri or without, this team’s roster is going to be better than the one we started with last fall. Our glaring shortcomings can be addressed the same way as last season, with the trade deadline. I’d say that worked out pretty well.


I really like Rodrigues, I watched a few games when Sid the Kid was out and he was good


At this rate I don’t think resigning him would actually be good for the team’s health. It definitely will be detrimental for the long-term health of the team, but I think it could even cripple the team short term. What Sakic was able to do with the depth of this team was because he had balanced contracts. The third and fourth lines were consistently more talented than the opposition, because the Avs could consistently afford better depth players. The Avs simply can’t maintain the depth identity of this team if we give Kadri what he expects (and probably deserves) for… Read more »


I can’t help but think that Joe has something up his sleeve. If he doesn’t move Girard then the Avs will be cooked – salary cap wise and won’t be able to sign anyone. Maybe he’s rolling the dice and waiting to see how the team plays without Kadri and making a move at the trade deadline. But that’s a big gamble. The situation might be a drag for us and even for Kadri but I suspect there are things going on behind the scenes, so to speak. If not, look for Kadri to sign with someone later this week… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by ricoflashback
Bob Neal

Feelings about Girard appear to be about the same level of divisiveness as current politics. We both know that Joe likes Sammie but current events still raises the question if other teams management are reluctant to pick Sammie up. I would have moved Sammie for the two second rounders to the Islanders just to free up cap space allowing one to dabble in the free agency market. It seems like the Avs have more defensemen rostered than they would want to keep. Like you, I’m wondering what Joe has up his sleeve.

David Zarrick

Tell your good buddy, Sammie, I said hello when you see him tonight.


You can tell by the Avs actions\in-actions. They’ve made no deals the past week almost from a trade standpoint.

Peter North

Not hard to figure out. Kadri is almost 32. Kadri has been rehabed by the Havs. Still risk of regression. Yes, Kadri is skilled. But a second line center does not command even $6M. So good for Sakic. The market for Girard is obviouly not hot. The best move may be to wait until another team needs a offensive defenseman. Then make a trade for a legitimate second line center. And maybe the value for Girard will increase. Long season — October to April — and much can happen. Maybe Girard does well? Anyway, J.T. Miller could be a good… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter North
Ryan Krueger

I like this idea but unless Vancouver retains salary we still have to move somebody, e.g. Girard or Compher.


You might be pessimistic on 2nd line centers. There are 38 centers making $6m+ right now, so that’s half a dozen 2nd liners. Kadri outscored all but five centers despite not being in the top 55 of cap hits, so you can’t blame him for wanting more. But I do agree with your point that Kadri is getting old. I still think he’s worth 4x$7m and the Avs could make that work. No more years or dollars.


This is starting to smell like it’s the Islanders for Kadri. Lamouriello likes to keep his deals quiet and hidden for as long as possible. Also read somewhere that Kadri and Lou had a good relationship in Toronto.


It feels like all the concerns are about a long term deal. We probably structured a deal that is responsible to the longevity of the team. Kadri has an outside reputation that is bad – he showed it last year in the playoffs. So maybe all the offers, except desperate non-contenders are also soft. As much as I like Kadri, I don’t forget worrying about him taking a suspension during this cup run, and I’m not convinced that one clean season takes this concern fully away. I still want him back, but would be concerned that a ring on his… Read more »


They need to let Kadri go. If he was 4 years younger, it would be a lot more difficult to let him walk. But the Avalanche have several contracts coming up. Obviously MacKinnon is the big one. Byram& Newhook both will be RFA’s after this year. And hopefully they can sign Toews to an extension after next season.

Hockey CapFan7

In today’s NHL, a smaller going on 32 year old player with one good season in a contract year and three playoff suspensions in the past will not receive either a long or lucrative new deal anywhere. He wanted a 8x$8M contract; he should expect no more than 3x$4.5M, a figure commensurate with his current value.


Kadri will get far north of that – – at least $6M/year.

Jeffrey Anderson

In Joe and Chris Mac, I trust!


Adrian: Do you buy that the league is waiting on this situation to resolve itself before other major moves happen (Tkachuk trade, Ottawa going after a defenseman, Montreal and Dubois, anything to do with the Islanders, the Tarasenko rumors, Toronto moving on from Nylander)? Also thoughts on this being held up by Colorado maybe thinking they have given away 3 of the top 5 prospects from the last few years and not wanting to give up a first in 2023 and not willing to settle for less then a first for Girard? When the draft is just so 2003/2016 levels… Read more »


“COL: Adrian Dater says that the Nazem Kadri free agent situation is ‘becoming a drag’. Love Adrian but gotta say I disagree. The Colorado Avalanche and their fans are lucky he hasn’t signed yet and appears to be giving the Avalanche time to bring him back. Patience AD, patience!” HaHa…Hey A.D. – I know you want to get your summer vacation started but I agree with BHN – BostonHockeyNow. I really believe Naz wants to finish his career out here with the Avalanche and a solid team that will compete for a Cup the next couple of years for sure.… Read more »

Brett Rainboth

Geez, what I wouldn’t give for Dylan Strome 3.5 now. Perfect replacement for Naz

Karl Keen

Not sure about perfect. His biggest knock is he not a good skater. Like I said about Stansny above, he would bring down our team speed which is crucial to our success

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