After making an emotional statement on having to leave Toronto to head out to Denver to play for the Colorado Avalanche, former Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri was asked about the nixed trade to the Calgary Flames on the air of Sportsnet during the 31 Thoughts podcast.
When GM Kyle Dubas first attempted to move Kadri, he tried sending him to Calgary but the forward nixed the move with his no-trade clause.
When asked by Elliott Friedman and Jeff Marek why he refused the move to the Flames in the first place, Kadri made some unexpected comments on his reason behind using his clause.
Kadri revealed that he wanted to use all the power he had to have the Leafs changed their minds so he could remain in Toronto. He thought it could cut the chances of being moved and staying with the team that selected him seventh overall back in 2009.
“So what happened is they had a deal in place and they wanted me to move my no-trade clause,” Kadri explained. “But you know, obviously, for me, it was no disrespect to Calgary or the Flames organization. I love their team and I love the direction they’re headed. I just figured that had I declined, I would have had a better opportunity of being a Maple Leaf next year and that’s really what it came down to. I wanted to play for the Leafs next year. I wanted to be a part of that. In declining that trade I had aspirations of being a Leaf and we know clearly that didn’t happen.
“They had other plans,” Kadri continued. “I’m just happy to be moving to a great city with a great team, a great group of guys. I’ve talked to everybody in the (Colorado) organization and they’re ecstatic to have me so it’s nice to be wanted.”
In the end, it did not work out, but Kadri vows to prove to the Leafs they should have hold on to him in the end.
“… For me, it’s about going in to next season with a chip on my shoulder. I know what I’m capable of and I want to just prove a point more than anything. So I’ll be looking to have a big year next year.”