As the offseason progresses, more and more names have come off the board, most recently Matthew Tkachuk, MacKenzie Weegar and an unexpected name in Jonathan Huberdeau, as a result of last night’s blockbuster. One name that has remained, perhaps sitting atop that board now, is UFA center Nazem Kadri. Fresh off a Stanley Cup, Kadri haas taken his time to decide, making clear he wants to go to a contender. Considering the contract he could command after his sensational 2021-22, the teams who appear to have made their offseason splashes already, and his desire to go to a contender, Kadri’s options could become more and more limited.
One destination rumored for Kadri has been the New York Islanders, and The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz says one league source confirmed to The Athletic that there are rumblings the Islanders have been making a push for Kadri (subscription required). Bringing Kadri into the fold would make sense for the Islanders, the team needing to improve its underperforming forward group and Kadri a two-way force that spent several seasons under Islanders’ GM Lou Lamoriello when both were with the Toronto Maple Leafs. On the other hand, the center position is pretty well cemented on Long Island, Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Casey Cizikas representing their core. On moving one of those five to the wing, one NHL coach told Kurz that Kadri is a center, not entertaining the idea of moving him to a wing, while an NHL scout wouldn’t consider the idea of moving Barzal off center, but did mention Brock Nelson, a sniper who scored 37 goals this season, as an option for the wing. Of course, all of this is hypothetical, with Kadri still very much a free agent, but the rumblings linking Kadri to the Islanders adds another wrinkle to the ever-developing story.
- Former star forward, assistant coach, and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Scott Gomez sat down with NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky to discuss his current career and his interest in returning to the NHL in some capacity (link). Since stepping away from his job as assistant coach with the Islanders in 2019, Gomez has worked with ELEV802, a company that builds small ice rink surfaces for children. As much as Gomez seems to enjoy his current role, he expressed interest in returning to the NHL, ideally in a team’s player development office, wanting to work with players individually, adding how important those in that role were to him in his development.
- Edmonton Oilers defenseman Brett Kulak had a chance to reflect on his trip to the UFA market and his decision to re-sign in Edmonton with Mike Arcuri of EdmontonOilers.com (link). A hometown player and native of Stony Plain, AB, Kulak nonetheless chose to take the experience and see what the market brought to him, considering it a potential once-in-a-career opportunity. Ultimately, the former Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens defenseman chose to stay-put, signing a four-year, $11MM contract, telling Arcuri that Edmonton’s offer gave him and his wife “the balance of things I wanted in my next contract,” citing opportunity, a good team, and dollar value as the things he was searching for. Kulak’s comments serve to shed light on the free agency experience for players and show that the decision is not always solely financial or solely personal, and impacts more than just the player. Coming from Kulak, a good NHL player, but not necessarily the prized-piece like a Johnny Gaudreau, brings light to how the average NHL player looks at these decisions, and even helps consider that no two players are exactly the same and each has plenty on their plate to influence the decision that they and their family members make.
What’s preventing Kadri from signing with the Avs? Aren’t they a Stanley Cup contender? Wasn’t he an integral part of their success?
@mike gondek – He could re-sign, but they need to clear cap space. The other theory being floated is that Lou has a deal in place, and is waiting to announce it on his terms. Just Lou being Lou…
What’s preventing Kadri from signing with the Avs is Big paycheck
The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant
The salary cap
@The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant – And what’s the Golden Rule, regarding the salary cap? Get to your share of the gold first, before the Cap Cannibals do!
Can you fix the spelling error of the word ‘hass’? I guess you accidentally put ‘hass’ instead of ‘has’. Please & thank you.
Fresh off a Stanley Cup, Kadri ‘haas’ taken his time to decide,
@Josip – Maybe @John has his mind on golf (Jay Haas)? We can call it a bogey…
As of right now, here’s the complete list of teams which will have the cap space to sign Kadri after re-signing their own important FAs: Buffalo, Detroit, Arizona, Chicago and Anaheim.
That’s IT. The Isles aren’t among them; they still have Dobson and Romanov to sign. And similar decisions are out there league-wide. Dallas only gets to sign Kadri if they *don’t* re-up Jason Robertson. Calgary could if they gave Mangiapane the heave-ho. And so on.
Yeah, yeah. “They can always dump salary.” To whom, and costing what? The only teams left with large amounts of free cap space are Arizona, Anaheim and Buffalo. And from the discussion on Bjorkstrand, we see that teams are charging a huge price to do that. A genuine contender trying to fit Kadri in is going to have to pay a very high price in a key player, 1st rounders and prospects for the privilege. Is Kadri worth that?
Kadri and Klingberg both are going to have drastically reevaluate what they’ll be able to get, and probably where they’ll be able to go.
Honestly, as much as I need to see it to believe it, BUF could make a real push to contend this season if they bring in both Kadri and Klingberg on on year deals. They are in rare air where they could end up having a good season whether they make the playoffs or end up dumping both guys at the deadline for 1sts.
Buffalo *could*, but it’s like with Anaheim, I think: if they were really intent on making the playoffs this year, they’d already have been a lot more active on the free agent front. They had — still do have — the money to overpay people, and chose not to do so.
And I think that’s a wise decision. If any team knocks Boston out this year, it’ll be Ottawa. Why should Buffalo throw caution to the wind to *maybe* make the playoffs and get trashed in the first round?
Nah, I think they’re gearing up for 2023. Have cap space at the deadline to be the 3rd party sucking up great deals. Keep space clear to re-sign Thompson, Cozens and Samuelsson next year. Have the year to find out if Comrie’s their goalie of the future, if Hinostroza and Girgensons are answers, and if Okposo has anything left in the tank. And grab all the toys that’ll be available to a team with $43 MM in cap space available. And happily, it’s still a young team: Okposo and Anderson are the only key guys on the roster who’ve hit 30.
I think the consensus is that Ottawa’s winning the 2022 offseason. If they play their cards right, Buffalo’s the team that’ll win the 2023 offseason.