Leafs player tells Zadorov mid-game, “You're EXACTLY what we need!”
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Leafs player tells Zadorov mid-game, “You're EXACTLY what we need!”

Recruiting him during the game!



In case you missed the news this past weekend, Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov informed team general manager Craig Conroy that he would like to be traded away from the team. 

The hulking 6'6", 235lb defenseman is apparently tired of losing with the directionless Flames and is looking for a fresh start elsewhere in the NHL. TSN insider Darren Dreger has linked Zadorov to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils as the team's most likely to pursue him via trade.

From Dreger:

"Well look, again, he's an attractive piece for Toronto, Vancouver, I know the New Jersey have expressed some interest, because of what we can see. He's enormous, he's a very physical defenseman. The problem you might have, though - and this is my understanding - is that he thinks he's a top-3, top-2 defenseman and I don't think he is. I think he's comfortable in your second [pairing], well even as your third [pairing], as a #5D, then you're in pretty good shape.

Brad Treliving, the general manager, has been around this man a long time. He knows him well and probably knows how to get him going. I don't think it helped the process, though, to amplify it the way that it amplified on Friday, because now it turns into a spectacle."

- Darren Dreger

Interestingly enough, the Leafs and Flames played each other in a fairly entertaining game this past Friday so both Zadorov and his potential new teammates would have had a chance to feel each other out.

What's most interesting to me though is that Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman is reporting that during the course of that game, one of the Leafs' players explicitly tried to recruit Zadorov on the ice!

From Friedman's latest 32 Thoughts podcast for Sportsnet:

"Zadorov plays under 16 minutes on Friday night and they lose to Toronto. He delivers a HUGE hit on Bertuzzi. The word going around on Sunday night is that a Maple Leafs player said to Zadorov on the ice, 'You're EXACTLY what we need.'

- Elliotte Friedman

Friedman's 32 Thoughts co-host Jeff Marek pushed Friedman if it was Zadorov's former OHL London Knights teammate Max Domi who tried to recruit Zadorov, but Friedman couldn't say for sure. 

But... c'mon... doesn't this have 'Max Domi' written all over it?

Whoever it was, I'm inclined to agree that Zadorov is EXACTLY what this Leafs team needs. Stay tuned.

Source: Elliotte Friedman