The Colorado Avalanche and center Nazem Kadri have to decide if they’re still compatible.
One of the decisions the Colorado Avalanche will have to make is whether or not to keep center iceman Nazem Kadri this offseason. Kadri is currently expected to hit free agency on July 13 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Kadri has spent the last two years with the Avalanche after starting his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now Kadri is 31 years old and for athletes it is prone to decline on the right side of 30.
Kadri managed 29 goals and 58 assists in the 2021-2022 season. He combined a career high with six game-winning goals.
Kadri played in 16 playoff games this postseason, recording seven goals and eight assists. In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Kadri returned after an absence due to a broken thumb and scored the winning goal.
The other centers on the team set to hit free agency are Nico Sturm, Darren Helm and Dylan Sikura.
One thing is for sure: the players want him back. The team should want him back.
The Avalanche must bid with other teams to keep Kadri in burgundy and blue. According to TSN’s Shawn Simpson, the Anaheim Ducks may be interested in Kadri.
Colorado Avalanche: What Should the Team Do If Nazem Kadri Leaves?
While all parties may have an interest in Kadri staying, they still need to be prepared should the 31-year-old decide to go elsewhere.
Some of the best budding free agents are a few years younger than Kadri, which might be important:
- Filip Forsberg (2021-2022: 69 games played, 42 goals, 42 assists, 18.6 shot rate)
- Evgeni Malkin (2021–2022: 41 games, 20 goals, 22 assists, 15.5 shooting percentage)
- Vincent Trocheck (2021–2022: 81 games, 21 goals, 30 assists, 12.5 shot average)
- Ryan Strome (74 games played, 21 goals, 33 assists but 69 penalty minutes)
Who the Avalanche uses to replace Kadri when he leaves depends on what they would ask of the newcomer. While the most important part of being an NHL forward is scoring goals, it’s possible the team is looking for someone who’s cheaper and may not always be able to score, but will help others be in that position .
NHL Free Agency begins July 13 at 12:00 p.m. ET.