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Nikita Zadorov reportedly would welcome a trade to the Leafs

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
3 months ago
The rumours surrounding Nikita Zadorov picked up a lot of steam last night when his agent made it publically known his client wants out of Calgary. Chris Johnston of The Atheltic reported last night that one of the teams he is open to going to is the Leafs.
This comes mere days after Elliotte Friedman mentioned that Brad Treliving would want to beef up his blueline and may look to bring in one from his former team. The speculation was around Zadorov and Chris Tanev, both of whom Treliving acquired during his tenure as the Flames GM and the type of defenceman he likes to acquire.
Dan Milstein, Zadorov’s agent, added fuel to the fire when he tweeted out a clip of Zadorov laying a hit during last night’s game and seemingly implied the player would like to be reunited with his former GM and the feeling is reportedly mutual. It is worth noting that the Leafs aren’t the only team that is vying for his services with rumours suggesting the Canucks and Devils are also interested.
The Russian defenceman fits the bill of the type of blueliner Treliving would be interested in as Zadorov is big, physical, reliable defensively, and can provide the occasional offence when needed. Last night’s game was a prime example of what he can bring at his best, delivering a big open-ice hit on Tyler Bertuzzi and scoring a goal to get the Flames some life.  He is also a pending UFA with a cap hit of $3.75 million, which is something the Leafs can certainly fit in in the right scenario.
There is certainly some concern that Toronto may have to overpay for his services since they are desperate for some stability on the back end. At the same time, there are reports suggesting that Zadorov’s camp is hoping for a quick resolution to the process so it probably makes the Leafs and Flames ideal trade partners for this scenario. In terms of what would go the other way, the likely candidate is John Klingberg since his cap hit is the closest to Zadorov’s that the Leafs may move and he has had a rough go to start his tenure in Toronto. More pieces would obviously need to be involved but a trade centered around the two could work.
Zadorov has played 12 games so far this season and has recorded five points (one goal and four assists), 10 blocks, and leads the Flames with 24 hits.
With momentum quickly building around Zadorov’s future, it’s only a matter of time before he finds himself elsewhere in the league. And with all of the speculation surrounding the Leafs’ interest, he may be donning the Blue and White when this is all said and done.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com.
Salary information from CapFriendly.

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