The Colorado Avalanche took a gamble when it traded for Nazem Kadri, who managed to keep his cool in last year’s postseason in the Edmonton bubble.
It was short-lived : the pesty forward is in trouble as he was suspended eight games last week for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk. While the NHL Players’ Association filed the appeal Sunday night on Kadri’s behalf, his reputation remains the same. One that the Avalanche does not seem interested to be linked to. This is Kadri’s third playoff suspension over the past six years. He was suspended for the remainder of the first round in 2019 for cross-checking, which turned out to be five games, and was suspended three games for boarding in 2018. Each of those incidents happened with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who traded him to Colorado in the summer of 2019.
Without Kadri in its lineup, the Avalanche completed a four-game sweep of the Blues on Sunday. A 5-2 victory over the 2019 Stanley Cup champions now gives Colorado some downtime while the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild conclude their series.
The depth the Avalanche can count on is impressive, which prompted several pundits and insiders to speculate that general manager Joe Sakic will look to move Kadri in the summer.
We are now hearing through insider Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun that the Senators might go after Kadri on the trade market to accelerate their rebuild and clinch a playoff spot in the near future.
“The thinking is the Avs may want to move Kadri, who was suspended for the sixth time in his career, this summer. Yes, he’s appealing the ban, but generally speaking those rarely go anywhere which means he may not return until Round 3 if Colorado advances.
He has a history with [D.J.] Smith from their days together with the Leafs and Kadri may be a short-term solution to help get Ottawa to the playoffs. Next year, Kadri will earn $2 million in salary and $2 million in signing bonus in the last year of his deal but not everybody is convinced the Avs will move him.”
It remains to be seen if the Avalanche will pull the trigger on a move including Kadri, who cost the team defenseman Tyson Barrie , forward Alexander Kerfoot and a 2020 sixth-round draft pick.
The Senators will also want to take a look at other players in need of a change of scenery, potentially in Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux, Calgary’s centre Sean Monahan and let’s not forget Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres.
However, it is interesting that there are already talks of Kadri returning to Canada even with the Avalanche still in playoff contention for the Stanley Cup.