August 24 2013 10:32PM
David Alter, the Leafs and NHL reporter for Sportsnet 590 the Fan, reported what Nazem Kadri's camp is allegedly asking for in ongoing contract negotiations with the Leafs. Nazem Kadri responded...negatively. Before I get into what I think, here's how the conversation went.
Leafs and Kadri still far apart in contract negations. Kadri's camp started with 6mill per for 6 years, willing to go down to 5mill..(cont)— David Alter (@DavidAlter590) August 24, 2013
As a way to help out Leafs cap situation. Team Insists cap isn't the issue... More interested in lower bride type deal for Kadri.— David Alter (@DavidAlter590) August 24, 2013
Meanwhile Franson's camp is still wanting a long-term deal as well.— David Alter (@DavidAlter590) August 24, 2013
Hearing the counter for Kadri has been in the 2 x 3 mill range which makes it difficult. Far apart in both term and cash.— David Alter (@DavidAlter590) August 24, 2013
Leafs biggest concern remains Kadri's production dropping off significantly over the last 19 games including playoffs.— David Alter (@DavidAlter590) August 24, 2013
And then ish got real...
@43_Kadri going by what I've been told. Happy to set the record straight.— David Alter (@DavidAlter590) August 24, 2013
Well that's an exciting little turn of events, especially for hockey in the middle of August.
Let me get this out of the way right off the bat because I'm sure somebody will eagerly point this out in the comments section: David Alter is my friend. I hope that doesn't change your mind on what I think of the situation, but at least I'm letting you know.
On the flip side, I have also met and spoken to Nazem Kadri a bunch of times. I don't have a bad thing to say about the guy. In fact, I think he's one of the more active and nicer guys on the team in terms of fan interaction.
One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that Alter is currently in Vancouver, on what was supposed to be a vacation. Welp, so much for that! He penned (or typed) this post after the exchange.
Many people tweeted about how Kadri "owned" Alter. I'm not sure how. I mean, yeah, Kadri stuck up for himself, but that doesn't mean he's right and Alter's lying or his sources are bogus. We'll never be able to confirm the truth on this one. Alter reported something, and Kadri said it was wrong. It's not like Kadri said what he was actually asking for, because that would be stupid. It's also unlikely that Alter would reveal who told him those details, because that's not exactly a smart move for a journalist to make. You don't reveal sources.
On the other hand, you can't blame Kadri. He's in the middle of the first big contract negotiation of his young career, and it's obviously starting to get pretty heated. He already voiced his displeasure with the negotiations in the media recently.
The start of the season is mere weeks away. Exhibition games start in less than a month. Training camp is even sooner. Kadri's camp, if Alter's report is true, is asking for a lot of money. You can't blame them; that's kind of their job. The Leafs are the other party in this negotiation, so they're low-balling Kadri. No surprise there either. Complicating matters even more is that Dave Nonis has really put the Leafs in a cap crunch situation this summer. How he plans on signing both Kadri and Franson by the time the season starts is a mystery to me.
Kadri saw Alter report something about the negotiations, something Kadri would likely want to remain private if it's true, and Alter also referred to Kadri's dip in production at the end of the season. Those two triggers likely set Kadri off, as they would set off any young guy in a bad mood.
This is gonna be fun to watch.
If you're interested in learning more about David Alter, he was on my podcast recently. You might be particularly interested in what he says about reporting, the pressure that comes with breaking stories, and his relationship with players in the Maple Leafs' locker room.