From the look of things, signing Nazem Kadri came down to agreeing on the length of a deal. The Toronto Maple Leafs inked the 22-year-old forward to a two-year deal on Tuesday.
Again, it seems like the key was for Kadri to relent on term. TSN’s Darren Dreger points out that he’s only getting $25K more per season than Toronto’s previous two-year offer.
Kadri’s first season salary is $2.7 million while his 2014-15 salary is $3.1 million, according to Kypreos.
This is clearly a prove-it deal for Kadri, who broke through with almost a point per regular season game in 2013 (44 in 48) after failing to stick with the team in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Kadri will still be a restricted free agent once his new deal expires, but he’ll have more leverage if he can prove that this past campaign wasn’t a fluke.
Kadri might be disappointed by this haul, but considering the fact that former RFA P.K. Subban accepted a similar deal in a similarly low position of power, it shouldn’t be shocking.
Buds’ budding bargain
After a summer full of polarizing decisions, this is basically a slam dunk for GM Dave Nonis and the Leafs. They’ve managed to sign a first-round talent who may indeed be breaking through while clearing up between $2-$4 million to re-sign Cody Franson (and maybe even Mason Raymond).
One of the best parts of the deal for both sides is that Kadri isn’t going to miss training camp, which makes this holdout different from several other recent high-profile negotiations.