I’m guessing my words don’t have the same weight as the NHL executive you who floated the idea that Kadri could be the odd man out in Toronto, but I felt like putting my theory out to the world anyway. The Leafs aren’t going to trade Nazem Kadri.
First let’s start off with exactly what Dreger said this morning?
Do you want some clickbait to end this week? I’m in Winnipeg, and another team in the Eastern conference, it doesn’t matter, I don’t have disclose the identity, but it was just it was just a theory that this exec threw at me. You guys spend all this time in Toronto talking about trading William Nylander, could Kasperi Kapanen be the guy they move, but what about Kadri? Why does it have to be Nylander or Kapanen that gets traded because of the salary crunch at the end of the year. There are teams around the National Hockey League that look at the Toronto Maple Leafs the same way we do, and realize of course, that something is going to have to give here if everybody gets the piece of the pie that they’re comfortable with, somebody is leaving. It’s just financial common sense, but does it have to be Nylander? Does it have to be Kapanen? Maybe you get a better deal or a sweeter deal for Kadri.
Okay, so let’s deal with this.
First off, the fact that he’s acknowledging it as clickbait is a good start, and it’s the same reason why I was interested in it, chose to write about it, and you chose to click on this and read it. The idea of moving Kadri is interesting. It’s also perfectly fine that Dreger doesn’t want to say who it was that said that to him in Winnipeg, but I’m sure someone with more time and resources than me will go back and find out who was in the pressbox for the Leafs/Jets game. Let’s get to the meat of this.
The current belief is that Nylander or Kapanen will be the odd man out due to the Leafs cap crunch. This ignores a lot of other pieces, like what happens with Patrick Marleau, what happens with Nikita Zaitsev, how much the salary cap goes up, how good is Kapanen over the course of a full season compared to a red hot October, and what decision will be made on Jake Gardiner. There are a lot of other factors that need to be addressed, but yeah, it’s far to say that there will be some roster changes next summer.
Now specifically dealing with Kadri, did you know that he’s really good? Did you know that his contract is amazingly cheap, and generally not the kind of contract you get rid of when trying to be competitive while maintaining costs? Did you know that having three great centers is a good thing and not something you should try to rid yourself of? Did you know the Leafs do not have a reasonable internal 4th line center option at this point, so replacing their 3rd line center will be incredibly difficult?
Okay. We’re probably good on why it’s a bad idea and not happening. We can also factor in that Eastern Conference teams are probably wanting to encourage Toronto to get worse, want Kadri on their teams and/or would be happy to see him moved out of conference. No matter what, I don’t think many people are buying.
But What If…
Fine. If the Leafs decide that William Nylander is getting moved to center next season, and he will be the third line guy behind Tavares and Matthews, you can make a bit more of a case for Kadri being expendable. There is also little doubt that Kadri would warrant a massive return, the same way Nylander would, but also like Nylander, it wouldn’t be enough to justify trading him unless you absolutely had to. You might get that shiny new defenseman you’ve always wanted, but at a pretty high cost.
So basically, now that you’ve clicked on this post, you’ve given all the attention to this topic that it deserves, which isn’t a whole lot. It’s a bad idea, it won’t be done. There will likely be roster changes, but it likely won’t involve the Leafs second best contract after Morgan Rielly. Thank you.