“Loved being a Leaf…”: Maple Leafs Closing In On Deal To Re-sign Former $49 Million Center in 3-Player Deal

“Loved being a Leaf…”: Maple Leafs Closing In On Deal To Re-sign Former $49 Million Center in 3-Player Deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to be busy in the offseason, especially on the trade front. Sportsnet radio presenter Sam McKee shared a fake deal with the Calgary Flames to bring back Nazem Kadri.

Since their elimination, the Maple Leafs have been the focus of trade rumors, with Mitch Marner and John Tavares named as potential trade targets.

McKee discussed a potential deal between the Maple Leafs and Flames on Sportsnet’s Real Kyper & Bourne show on June 20.

“Mitch Marner for Rasmus Andersson and Nazem Kadri,” McKee announced. “A man who is well-known in our area, who everyone considers to be the one that got away, a really good postseason performer, and a heart and soul type of guy. I loved being a Leaf and didn’t want to leave, plus you finally have a right-shot defenseman to play with (Morgan Reilly).

The Maple Leafs drafted Kadri with the seventh overall pick in 2009. He played 10 years with Toronto before being moved to the Colorado Avalanche.

This past season with Calgary, Kadri recorded 29 goals and 46 assists for 75 points in 82 games. However, the knock on Kadri is his contract as the 33-year-old has five years left on his deal that pays him $7 million per season.

Andersson, meanwhile, is 27 years old and recorded 9 goals and 30 assists for 39 points in 78 games last season. He has two years left on the six-year $27.3 million deal he signed with Calgary in 2020.

Co-Host Doesn’t Like Trade for Toronto

Justin Bourne, McKee’s co-host, was critical of the Maple Leafs’ proposed deal.

Instead, he thinks he’d prefer do it without Kadri, going one-on-one with Marner and Andersson. He believes Kadri is unnecessary and that the Maple Leafs might make better use of their excess cap money.

“I’m about to tell something that could startle you. I would make this swap without Kadri. Not because I love Andersson so much; Andersson makes $4.5 million over the next two years; he’s a 27-year-old thumper on a nice deal who can score points; I genuinely enjoy Andersson. And then you have $7 million in cap room to work with,” Bourne explained.

“To me, cap space is such an asset today that rather than locking in Kadri, who I don’t know, he’s 33, six years left he is 33, I don’t want to see a great player be not great here, who has had a great legacy with the Leafs,” Bourne added.

The Maple Leafs are set to enter the offseason with $18.8 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly.

Kadri’s Time With The Maple Leafs

Kadri made his NHL debut for the Maple Leafs on February 8, 2010, but did not become a full-time player until the following season.

Kadri became a fan favorite in Toronto owing to his rugged playstyle. However, the forward’s suspension in consecutive postseason series in 2018 and 2019 led to his trade.

On July 1, 2019, the London, Ontario native was traded to the Avalanche for Tyson Barrie and Alexander Kerfoot. Kadri helped Colorado win the Stanley Cup in 2022 and later signed with Calgary in free agency.

Kadri finished his career with the Maple Leafs with 161 goals and 196 assists for 357 points in 561 games.

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