Nazem Kadri is a former Toronto Maple Leaf, a current member of the Colorado Avalanche and a could-have-been Calgary Flame.
On July 1, the Maple Leafs traded the 28-year-old centre, along with defenceman Calle Rosen and Toronto’s 2020 third-round pick to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenceman Tyson Barrie, centre Alexander Kerfoot and a 2020 sixth-round draft pick. Colorado is also retaining 50 per cent of Barrie’s $5.5 million cap hit.
The trade to Colorado came after Kadri had exercised the 10-team, no-trade clause in his contract in order to block a potential deal that would have sent him to Calgary. Colorado was not one of the team’s on Kadri’s list.
On the latest episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, Kadri explained why he nixed the deal with the Flames.
“So what happened is they had a deal in place and they wanted me to move my no-trade clause,” Kadri told co-hosts Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek. “But you know, obviously, for me, it was no disrespect to Calgary or the Flames organization. I love their team and I love the direction they’re headed. I just figured that had I declined, I would have had a better opportunity of being a Maple Leaf next year and that’s really what it came down to. I wanted to play for the Leafs next year. I wanted to be a part of that. In declining that trade I had aspirations of being a Leaf and we know clearly that didn’t happen.
“They had other plans,” Kadri continued. “I’m just happy to be moving to a great city with a great team, a great group of guys. I’ve talked to everybody in the (Colorado) organization and they’re ecstatic to have me so it’s nice to be wanted.”
Kadri was also asked if he harbours any hard feelings as a result of the trade.
“I mean, I understand it’s a business,” he explained. “… For me, it’s about going in to next season with a chip on my shoulder. I know what I’m capable of and I want to just prove a point more than anything. So I’ll be looking to have a big year next year.”
For the full interview with Kadri, be sure to download the latest episode of 31 Thoughts when it becomes available later July 11: