Any way you look at things, it’s going to be a busy offseason for Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. Pending restricted free agent Mitch Marner is reportedly holding out for a massive contract with negotiations that could make the William Nylander contract look like a walk in the park.
Meanwhile it’s been reported that the Leafs are actively looking to trade veteran Patrick Marleau and have discussed a potential deal with the Los Angeles Kings. Defenseman Nikita Zaitsev has reportedly asked for a trade and pending unrestricted free agent Jake Gardiner seems to have one foot out the door, as well. Suffice it to say, there’s a LOT up in the air with the Leafs right now. Well… throw another log on the fire because NHL insider Elliotte Friedman is now reporting that the Leafs have received trade interest on forward Nazem Kadri.
Check out this second hand account of Friedman’s words from Toronto’s Sportsnet 960 radio:
Kadri, of course, has been a lightning rod for criticism this postseason as many Leafs fans feel his suspension in round one against the Boston Bruins was ultimately the team’s downfall. It’s the second postseason in a row in which Kadri has lost his cool and hurt his team, so you can’t blame Leafs fans for piling on the 28 year old centre.
Still, with two 30+ goal seasons in his back pocket and a team friendly $4.5 million cap hit, the Leafs will certainly get offers on Kadri. In fact, on the latest 31 Thoughts podcast with Friedman and co-host Jeff Marek, the two discussed the possibility of Kadri staying in Canada and heading to a Western Canadian team.
Check it out:
“I think there’s a lot of teams looking at Kadri. I don’t know if Toronto’s going to do it, but there’s a lot of interest in Kadri”, said Friedman.
“Now because of what happened in the playoffs, there’s that. But there’s one thing I know and that’s Mike Babcock he loves centres,” he continued.” They’re pretty thin at centre if they trade him and don’t get one back.“
“Which teams would be the warmest there,” asked Marek.
“I could see everybody in Western Canada being in on that,” said Friedman. To which Marek replied, “I could see Edmonton being in on that, I could see Calgary being in on that, I could see Vancouver being in on that. I could see all them.”
Interesting. The Canucks, Oilers and Flames are all kind of set at centre in their top two slots, but Kadri would give each team an additional skillset that they don’t currently have. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire?