The summer continues, and so does the negotiation process between the Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free agent Nazem Kadri.
Kadri was previously under an entry-level deal that paid him $810,000 at the NHL level this season, according to Capgeek.com.
“We’re in conversation,” Kadri told the Toronto Star. “There’s still work to be done, but we’re talking and that’s the most important thing.”
In his first full regular season with the Leafs – of course, that season was shortened to 48 regular season games because of that darn lockout – Kadri enjoyed a breakout campaign.
In his first 51 NHL games combined over the three previous seasons, Kadri scored just eight goals and had 19 points.
Last season, as the Maple Leafs qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2004, Kadri turned into a key component of the team’s offensive punch.
He had 18 goals and 44 points, before adding a goal and four points in seven playoff games against the Boston Bruins.
Interesting about this off-season has been the complete lack of offer sheets, and it’s possible a team could pursue Kadri through a large contract.
“Whenever you have a certain number of teams that are at or near the cap with restricted free agents, they don’t have the ability to match the offer sheet,” said agent Allan Walsh, as per the Toronto Star.
“Or they’re put into a situation where they match the offer sheet and have to let somebody else go.”