How Should Avalanche, Free-Agent Suitors View Nazem Kadri’s Contract Year?

Imagine you hopped into a time machine to May 2021, and instead of capitalizing on meme stocks, you discussed Nazem Kadri with your past self. When your past self wasn’t muttering about squandered get-rich-quick schemes, they’d be shocked at Kadri earning an NHL All-Star bid during his contract year.

Interestingly, just about every version of yourself may come to the same conclusion. It’s hard to imagine the Avalanche keeping Nazem Kadri under contract after the 2021-22 season. Now it just seems like Kadri will cost a lot more money to whoever pays him next.

But could the Avalanche actually hash out another contract with Kadri? How suspicious should we be about Kadri tying Connor McDavid for third in league scoring (both with 59 points, each in 40 games played)?

Let’s dive into this Kadri contract year, even if it’s truly difficult to predict how much money he’ll make, and how much he’s actually “worth.”

 

Should the Avalanche sign Kadri to another contract? Could they?

Last offseason, it sure seemed like the Avalanche would make the painful choice to let Gabriel Landeskog walk in free agency. Until they didn’t.

Could the same be true with Kadri and the Avalanche?

Technically, it could happen. Sort of. According to Cap Friendly, the Avalanche would have about $26.5M in cap space (if the salary ceiling stayed at $82.5M). The Avs currently devote a hair over $55M to 12 roster spots.

Granted, when he shine a light at various openings, there’s more doubt about if the Avalanche could keep Kadri, and the more crucial “should they?” question only heightens.

Most obviously, Nathan MacKinnon‘s insultingly low $6.3M cap hit runs out after 2022-23. While MacKinnon hinted at possibly taking less than he could, the Avalanche probably need to pencil in at least a $12M cap hit for the speedy center.

Also pressing: the Avalanche don’t have any proven NHL goalies under contract for next season. Even if the Avs go cheap (surmising that a team full of surplus value could prop up thrifty netminders), goaltending is a huge variable.

Author: Lucy Green