NHL Free Agency: Signing Nazem Kadri has pros and cons

Nazem Kadri #91, Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nazem Kadri #91, Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

As we hit the NHL free agency that begins this Wednesday, the NHL has some quality, big-name players out there, ready to re-sign or find new homes. One of those players, Nazem Kadri, could be in for a big payday, just weeks after winning the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche.

Just like with every player on the market, there are pros and cons to signing him.

The cons include he is 31 years old and he has some miles on him. At times during his career, Kadri has not made the best decisions on the ice, went too far, and which resulted in him getting suspended.

He can be a bit of a liability on the defensive end. Although he has been better as of late, he has been known to coast on defense and that action resulted in the opposition getting good scoring chances.

Of course, there are positives as well.

As mentioned above he is a Stanley Cup champion. He also set career highs in points last season, scoring 87 points on 28 goals and 59 assists in 71 games. Over his playing career, he is a 0.69 point per game player. Kadri played in his first all-star game as well.

Kadri is a physical, offensive top 6 forward who will be looking for a raise after his impressive 2021-22 season. His last contract was a 6-year deal, worth $27 million. With Kadri being 31 do not look for another 6-year deal from any team out there. He will likely get more than the $4.5 million AAV he got on his last contract.

Nazem Kadri will likely want to go to a contender who has money, looking for a productive first or second-line center.  Some teams that do have cap space that is Stanley Cup contenders include the St. Louis Blues ($9.01 million available), New York Rangers ($10.2 million available), Nashville Predators ($9.6 million available), and Edmonton Oilers ($15.8 million available).

This one could be tricky because Kadri could take his time or sign immediately. My feeling is that he could sign with New York or St. Louis. St. Louis because they can use another productive center and New York because they are walking away from center Ryan Strome and that frees up some cash to bring in Kadri as their number two center.