The Calgary Flames are bringing back Nikita Zadorov on a two-year deal, according to his agent Dan Milstein. PuckPedia reports that the deal will carry an average annual value of $3.75MM. Calgary has confirmed the deal as well with a release welcoming Zadorov back to the squad.
Today has been a rough one for the Flames organization, not only losing franchise cornerstone Johnny Gaudreau, but also lockdown defenseman Erik Gudbranson, both heading to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but a bright spot has been welcoming back a key piece of their blueline this past season in that of Zadorov. The massive defenseman, listed at 6’6″ and 235 pounds played important minutes on Calgary’s third pair, recording 22 points and a plus-11 rating along with 181 hits in 74 games averaging 16:55 of time on ice. Zadorov will likely be expected to play much of the same role as he did this season for the Flames, but with the departure of Gudbranson, should be expected to elevate his physical play, enough for both of them.
An interesting part of the deal is that the AAV, $3.75MM, is the exact same AAV of the expiring contract. After hitting the open market last offseason, Zadorov signed a one-year, $3.75MM deal with Calgary and after a strong performance, didn’t necessarily earn a raise on a yearly basis, but did guarantee himself a the second year on the deal.