NHL Rumors: Islanders after Nazem Kadri, and John Klingberg back with Stars?
Nazem Kadri is still unsigned and it’s been almost two weeks since free agency opened. It’s really not something anyone thought would still be a discussion for NHL Rumors.
Yet, here we are and dust continues to settle around the league that included seeing Matthew Tkachuk traded from the Calgary Flames to the Florida Panthers. With that monster move done, is this the week where Kadri finally signs a new deal?
NHL Rumors: Nazem Kadri and the New York Islanders
Kadri, 31, posted 87 points in 71 games last season and then added 15 points in 16 playoff contests. Those stats were given the greatest exclamation point when he lifted the Stanley Cup high overhead with the Colorado Avalanche this summer.
The buzz around the league is that some interested teams are trying to work on clearing cap space in order to sign him. He’s coming off a deal that paid $4.5M against the cap so a nice raise is a lock, I’m just not sure about getting max term. Kadri’s next deal will be between 5-7 years with an AAV around $7.5 to $8.5M.
After free agency opened, there was talks of a possible return to the Avs but that seems really unlikely. One team that continues to be considered in the mix are the New York Islanders. The Fourth Period also add the Seattle Kraken, Ottawa Senators, and Anaheim Ducks to the mix.
Kevin Kurz covers the Isles for The Athlethic and reported that a league source noted “rumblings” about the team and Kadri.
For me, the New York Islanders are a logical destination after missing out on Johnny Gaudreau. Although the move doesn’t help add a scoring winger for center Mathew Barzal, it is a step in the right direction to improve offense.
Despite Kadri also being a center, the Isles would still be better off with them as a one-two punch in the lineup. Plus, they can work together on the first power play unit.
NHL Rumors: John Klingberg
Speaking of players that no one expected to still be unsigned, defenseman John Klingberg has yet to find a new team.
Klingberg, 29, recorded 47 points in 74 games in 2021-22. He’s said to be looking for a new deal in the neighborhood of 8 years and $8M per season. At this point, I doubt he’s coming anywhere close to those numbers.
In a recent article by Saad Yousuf in The Athletic, he suggests that there’s a possibility for Klingberg to sign a one-year deal to remain with the Dallas Stars. A place that the defenseman does not want to leave.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s been a few frustrating years individually,” Klingberg said during the season. “As a player, it all ends up coming to your next contract, obviously. I’ve been a Dallas Star since Day One. I’ve been pretty clear that I want to stay here. I grew up here. I had my daughter here and all that. At the end of the day, it’s a business. I understand it’s a business on both sides.”
As a defenseman approaching 30, the idea may be too risky. However, with Peter DeBoer as the new head coach a big year may be on tap for the gifted blue-liner.
Plus, if it’s an affordable deal he could parlay that into a trade deadline move to a Stanley Cup contender.