Nazem Kadri, an instrumental force helping the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup, is headed to Calgary, agreeing to a 7-year, $49 million contract, according to multiple published reports.
Kadri, 31, is coming off a career-high 87-point regular season (28 goals). During the playoffs he chipped in seven goals and 15 points in 16 playoff games. He finished fourth in Conn Smythe Trophy voting as the postseason MVP behind winner Cale Makar.
He had several memorable performances in the postseason, including his goal and assist in Game 3 of the second-round series against St. Louis. The Avs defeated the Blues 5-2 after St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington sustained a knee injury when Kadri was pushed into him in the crease by a Blues defenseman. St. Louis fans publicly scorned Kadri and local police met with the Canadian-born Muslim to disclose racial threats made against him. In Game 4 of the series in St. Louis, Kadri had three goals and four points to lead Colorado to a 6-3 victory and a 3-1 series lead.
Kadri had three assists in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against Edmonton, which fell 4-0 to give the Avs a 2-0 series lead. In Game 3, Colorado won 4-2 but lost Kadri to a broken right thumb after he was illegally checked into the boards by Oilers forward Evander Kane. Kadri underwent surgery two days later in Denver but missed only four games. He returned in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against Tampa Bay, scoring the overtime goal in a 3-2 triumph to give the Avs a 3-1 series lead.
Kadri played the final three games of the series with a cast inside his right glove to protect his thumb.
“I think for what he’s dealing with, it’s pretty remarkable, to be honest,” Avs forward Andrew Cogliano said. “He’s in a tough spot. He was in a tough spot a couple days ago. But I think everyone at this point, you get adrenaline, you get that fire in you, and you find a way.”
“He’s just a gamer,” Cogliano added.
Kadri finished as Colorado’s third-leading scorer in the regular season with a team-high 59 assists. His 87 points were 26 more than his previous high of 61 in 2016-17 with Toronto.
Kadri is coming off a six-year, $27 million contract he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016. Colorado acquired Kadri via a trade on July 1, 2019.