Nazem Kadri reflects on tenure with Leafs: 'I felt like I had a lot more to give them'

Arun SrinivasanContributor
Nazem Kadri reflected on his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs and is now looking forward to joining the upstart Colorado Avalanche. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Nazem Kadri reflected on his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs and is now looking forward to joining the upstart Colorado Avalanche. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Nazem Kadri spent his entire career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but it appears he’s made peace with the team’s decision to trade him to the Colorado Avalanche on July 1.

Kadri was a staple of the organization, but was sent to Colorado in a blockbuster deal - which netted a top-pairing defenceman in Tyson Barrie for Toronto.

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The veteran center joined TSN’s 1050 Jim Tatti and Carlo Colaiacovo and detailed when he knew he’d played his last game for the Maple Leafs.

"Probably a week before July 1, things really started to pick up. I figured there might be a chance that I wouldn't start the season with Toronto but I also figured, you know, there'd be a chance I would,” Kadri said.

“I tried to do everything I could to stay in place and wanted to be part of the Leafs and I felt like I had a lot more to give them. But ultimately they made a decision to move me and I'm just excited to join my new team."

With 18 days to reflect on the trade, Kadri is looking forward to the change of scenery, noting that Colorado is the second-sunniest state in the United States. Earlier this week, Kadri also made a push for the Avalanche to bring back the Quebec Nordiques jerseys.

"Playing with great players like Nate McKinnon and (Gabriel Landeskog) Landy and (Mikko) Rantanen out there, they've got such a great young squad. It's a great city to live in - it was one of my favourite road cities to travel to."

Kadri proves the Avalanche with further centre depth and a tenacious presence, and though he didn’t light the lamp as expected in 2018-19, he posted consecutive 30-goal seasons in the previous two years and could be asked to do the same with his new team.

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