Nazem Kadri’s contract negotiations are tearing apart the fabric of the universe

-A sampling of favourited tweets from Mr. Kadri

I really didn’t want to write another post about Nazem Kadri. I feel like my opinion is out there, that I think the Toronto Maple Leafs organization is doing the right thing by forcing the hand of Kadri a bit. Thanks to a couple of “leaks” from reporters David Alter and Bob MacKenzie, the public seems to believe that Kadri asked for an unreasonable amount of money and an unreasonable term. Kadri fired back at Alter last month (covered here by Steve) and at MacKenzie last night.

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It’s a negotiation tactic, of course. I don’t know what Kadri thinks he’s worth, and I don’t know how his agent is negotiating the deal, but anchoring is a common tactic. It’s conceivable to think that Kadri told his agent “I want 5, but I’ll accept 4,” and his agent opened with 6 in an attempt to anchor the Leafs to a high number and let them work it down. There are a multitude of scenarios that could have arisen that don’t involve either the Leafs or Kadri lying to the press.

Kadri has been very aggressive about these negotiations, unusually so for a player seeking his second contract. I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that he may be getting some bad advice related to the public relations side of a potential holdout. Siskinds Sports Management represents mostly junior players and very few professional players, and Kadri’s definitely the standout of the group. Greg Wyshynski suggested today that this is Kadri’s first rodeo today, but by extension, it is also his agency’s.

We’ve known for a while that this was going to be a tough negotiation. These recent developments shouldn’t change anybody’s opinion about the Leafs or Kadri. I tend to steer away from the things said in the media from either side, because if you know a lot about a little, you still only know just a little about the full situation. Dreger assured us that the Leafs won’t offer more than two years to Kadri, but Kadri didn’t confirm to Mark Masters on video that he wanted anything more than a bridge deal.

There’s probably a way for Dave Nonis to get both Cody Franson and Nazem Kadri under contract without losing either, but no misstep will do. James Mirtle noted that Logan Couture is a very good comparable for Kadri’s contract. Here’s a comparison of the two players on August 26, 2011, when Couture signed his extension:

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  GP Goals Points Salary Years
Logan Couture 104 37 65 $2,875,000.00 2
Nazem Kadri 99 26 63 N/A N/A

It’s worth noting that the salary cap in 2013-2014 is identical to the one in 2011-2012, and that Couture cashed in with a recent five-year, $30-million extension.

Give Kadri this deal, offer Franson the one year at $2.5-million with an understanding to extend him long-term right before the Winter Classic, and you can probably keep both if all you do is demote Korbinian Holzer (would allow the team to keep an extra forward on board!). This would be easier if Nonis had taken a similar hardline approach to Mark Fraser, Jonathan Bernier, Tyler Bozak, Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren, but five wrongs is better than six wrongs.

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  • Badger M

    Liles can also be dumped in the AHL to save $925,000 in capspace. Demoting him, Smith and Holzer while recalling D’Amigo (who I think will be playing full-time with the Leafs) and Brennan gives the Leafs a 22 man roster with just over $300,000 in capspace. Broll playing over Orr also helps save a bit of space.

    Looking at the cap situation again, I’m not happy with the Fraser contract (which often seems to be overlooked). Somebody like Blacker/Granberg could have easily filled his spot, saving about $300,000 in capspace while probably being a better player.

  • 24% body fat

    Kadri is terrible and over rate. pay him his money and lets see if he ever comes close to this production again.

    Shooting percentage will fall off. Opposition will get harder. Zone starts will get harder.