Heading into this year’s free agency, one of the best players available was Nazem Kadri, and over two weeks later, he remains up for grabs. It is a rather shocking development given that it seemed to everyone as though teams would be in a bidding war for the 31-year-old, with the winning team likely overpaying him by a wide margin.
It appears those thoughts were misjudged, however, likely in large part due to the flat salary cap as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of getting the huge deal he anticipated, Kadri remains on the market, and no one seems to have a clear sense of where he will end up. With that said, here are three destinations that make plenty of sense for him to end up.
Given how long he has been on the market, one has to wonder if Kadri is simply waiting on Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche to clear cap space in order to re-sign him. Since coming over to the Avs in a trade during the 2019 offseason, Kadri’s play has excelled, particularly in 2021-22, where he recorded a career-high 87 points in just 71 games.
Kadri played a huge role in the Avs Stanley Cup championship this year, as he was not only fantastic in the regular season, as mentioned but was able to score seven goals and 15 points in 16 playoff outings. He undoubtedly makes them a better team, and bringing him back would increase their already great odds of winning back-to-back Cups.
What makes things difficult in regards to adding Kadri is that the Avalanche currently have just over $3.9 million in cap space, which won’t be enough to bring him back into the fold. However, they could look to trade a current roster player to free up some space. One potential candidate could be Samuel Girard, who has five years remaining on a deal with a cap hit of $5 million. The Avs proved they could get things done without him this past year as he missed the majority of the playoffs with a broken sternum. That said, his terrific offensive abilities from the back end should be more than enough to draw interest from several teams if Sakic does indeed choose to go down this route.