Report: Leafs, Kadri remain far apart in negotiations

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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.

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