In case you missed today's blockbuster news the Calgary Flames have signed free agent forward Nazem Kadri to a seven year contract.
Additionally, there are reports that the Flames have traded forward Sean Monahan and his $6.3 million contract to the Montreal Canadiens.
The 31 year old Kadri had an outstanding 87 points in 61 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season and a further 15 points in 16 playoff games en route to a Stanley Cup championship. He was arguably the NHL's biggest free agent following Johnny Gaudreau who, of course, left the Flames for the Columbus Blue Jackets. With Kadri now reportedly under contract Flames GM Brad Treliving has effectively replaced Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan with Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar. Not bad, not bad at all considering the circumstances that Gaudreau and Tkachuk put the Flames in.
As for Kadri, he'll join a Flames squad that will look drastically different than the one who took the ice last season. It's also a return to Canada for Kadri, after spending the first 10 years of his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had the best season of his NHL career by far in 2021-22 and was an absolute force of nature in the playoffs.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports that Kadri's deal will net him $7 million against the salary cap for the next 7 years.
Yikes... that's a big ticket.
At 31 years old and given the style of play that Kadri likes to employ, I'd be nervous about this deal if I were a Flames fan. Contracts like this rarely age well, but there's no denying the fact that the Flames will be a better team with Kadri in the lineup this upcoming season and likely for a few more seasons beyond. Once he crests the third, fourth or fifth year of this deal though... that's where things get dicey... Kadri will be 38 years old at the end of this reported deal.