NHL Rumors: Nazem Kadri still weighing options

nazem kadri
Nov 11, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) as defenseman Tyler Myers (57) defends in the second period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Nazem Kadri is the biggest name left unsigned after free agency opened on Wednesday. Whatever happens, the 31 year-old is taking his time to weigh all his options.

Fresh off a Stanley Cup victory with the Colorado Avalanche, it was reported that the Avs would try to make a push to keep him.

“I’m told the Avalanche have informed Kadri’s camp led by Darren Ferris they want to at least have a crack at it before July 13,” Pierre LeBrun wrote in The Athletic (subscription required).

Per CapFriendly, the Avs have only $3.9M in space with 21 players signed. That makes a return for Kadri unlikely unless Colorado can move out some salary.

NHL Rumors: Nazem Kadri weighing options

nazem kadri
Oct 23, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) skates with the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) defends during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kadri is in line for a hefty increase along the lines of $7M to $8M per season after earning $4.5M a year on his last contract. That’s only natural after posting 87 points in 71 games in 2021-22. Adding 15 points in 16 playoff games doesn’t hurt either.

Due to his age, I’m not sure any team would agree to that for 7 years, but stranger things have happened in free agency. You can use the New York Rangers giving 29 year-old Vincent Trocheck as an example. He got max term when everyone thought the Rangers wouldn’t give anyone more than five years.

During ESPN’s broadcast of free agent frenzy, Kevin Weekes reported live that Kadri had several teams in on him and he was mulling things over.

The Fourth Period noted that the Avs could still be an option but the New York Islanders, Seattle Kraken, Ottawa Senators, and Anaheim Ducks were among suitors.

While I think the Ducks are an interesting option with a ton of cap space, would Kadri want to go there after winning a Cup? The Senators have made a ton of big changes that may actually interest him after landing Alex DeBrincat, Cam Talbot, and Claude Giroux this offseason.

One team that stands out as desperately needing to make a move are the New York Islanders. After missing out on Johnny Gaudreau, they still have to find more offense to support Mat Barzal. Although Kadri is a center, the Isles would still be better off with them as a one-two punch in the lineup.

Another team that may make a push for Kadri is the one that Gaudreau left. The Calgary Flames have $18.4 million in cap space and need to try and replace what they lost in Johnny Hockey. You can also add the New Jersey Devils to the mix.