Report: Leafs, Kadri remain far apart in negotiations


Nazem Kadri said that “it’s not his job” to worry about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ salary cap situation on Tuesday. Saturday provides more evidence of that thought, because if Sportsnet’s David Alter’s report is correct, Kadri wants more than the Buds currently have.

Kadri’s camp reportedly began with a six-year, $36 million proposal but knocked that price down $1 million per season to $30 million. Alter reports that the Maple Leafs trotted out a very different number: two years, $6 million.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the two sides make some headway between today and training camp (if not the regular season), but this report indicates that they disagree both on term and salary.

Asking too much?

Yes, the 22-year-old said that the Leafs’ cap situation isn’t his problem, but that modified proposal would slightly eclipse Toronto’s estimated $4.9 million in room. And that’s without signing defenseman Cody Franson, who’s reportedly asking for a long-term deal of his own, according to Alter.

Kadri enjoyed what was at times a sensational 2013 season, but his overall resume is still very light at 99 regular season games. Alter reports that the team is concerned that he might have faded late in the 2013 season and playoffs, too.

Next in line

On the other hand, Kadri’s camp could argue that his request is in line with other similar Leafs signings.

David Clarkson signed that stout seven-year, $36.75 million deal (which averages out to $5.25 million per year, the same cap hit that Joffrey Lupul carries). Tyler Bozak’s contract is for five years, $21 million. It’s reasonable to guess that Kadri will play a similar – if not larger – role than those three players.

Bridging the gap

The Maple Leafs seem most interested in a “bridge” contract, Alter reports.

PHT’s own Jason Brough believes that Kadri might have to settle for something similar to what P.K. Subban agreed to with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2013 season.

As a restricted free agent, Kadri might find himself in a holdout situation if he isn’t willing to budge. His best move could very well be to accept the Leafs’ two-year offer (maybe pushing for more than $3 million per season) and then do what he can do drive his value up for his next deal.

Either way, if the sides are truly this divided, there could still be a few more twists up ahead.


Kadri doesn’t care about Toronto’s cap crunch

Maple Leafs are confident they can make it all work

Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
Leave a comment

Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”



Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?