Despite reports of a deal being imminent between the New York Islanders and free-agent center Nazem Kadri, the Calgary Flames announced the signing of the former Colorado Avalanche forward to a seven-year, $49 million deal on Thursday. Kadri was one of the most coveted free agents available this off-season.
Rumors persisted that a deal was near between the Isles and Kadri, but Calgary swooped in after finding a trade partner for Sean Monahan’s contract to make room for Kadri. Monahan has reportedly been traded to Montreal, while Kadri joins the Flames franchise that has made significant changes this off-season. Earlier in the summer, Calgary traded Matthew Tkachuk to Florida for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weeger, a prospect, and a lottery-protected first-round pick in 2025. The Flames then signed Huberdeau and Weeger to contract extensions. Calgary is recovering from the loss of free-agent Johnny Gaudreau, who signed with Columbus.
Kadri won the Stanley Cup with Colorado this past season after registering a career-high 87 points in the regular season and 15 points in 16 playoff games. The previous career-high was 61 points in 2016-17. The 32-year-old center has clocked a potential trade to Calgary in 2019 and chose to remain with Toronto at the time. The London, Ontario native of was a first-round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2009 (seventh overall).
Kadri has played in 739 regular season games over 13 years, with Toronto and Colorado registering 512 points. In 52 postseason games, the six-foot, 190-pound forward has 44 points. The chippy forward has been suspended six different times in his career, with the most recent suspension being in May of 2021 after an illegal check to the head of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk.