By no means did Nazem Kadri sound fraught with anxiety about his contract status with the Toronto Maple Leafs (i.e. the fact he doesn’t currently have one); however, the 22-year-old restricted free agent did admit Monday he’d like to get a deal done before it becomes a real issue.
“The closer and closer camp comes, the more of a distraction it is to me,” Kadri told the Toronto Sun. “But I’m confident we’ll come up with something. I know both parties want to get something done, it’s just a matter of them getting some things together and putting the team back where it was. We have a solid foundation, a great group of guys and no one wants to leave.”
The problem for the Leafs general manager Dave Nonis is, in addition to getting Kadri signed, he also has to negotiate a deal with RFA defenseman Cody Franson.
Some analysis from the Sun:
The cap-challenged Leafs might sign both RFAs, let camp run its course and then get back under the cap by dropping one or two salaries in the $1 million-range before opening night. The Leafs have about $4.9 million US to work with at present, not enough for both RFAs.
The Leafs have reportedly tried to trade defenseman John-Michael Liles in order to free up some cap space, to no avail.