Flames' Nikita Zadorov reportedly requests trade immediately after loss to Leafs

The reports of Zadorov's trade request broke right after his Flames fell to the Leafs in Toronto — where Calgary's former GM currently resides.

Nikita Zadorov made waves in more ways than one on Friday night in Toronto. (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Nikita Zadorov made waves in more ways than one on Friday night in Toronto. (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Hulking Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov has requested a trade from the Calgary Flames, according to multiple reports.

The news, which was first reported by NHL Network's Kevin Weekes, broke almost immediately after the Flames fell to the Maple Leafs in a shootout Friday night in Toronto — a place Zadorov, a pending UFA, would reportedly "welcome a move to."

Zadorov's former general manager in Calgary, Brad Treliving — who was let go this past offseason — is now manning the helm in Toronto, so the timing of the request is curious to say the least. Weekes reported a day earlier the Maple Leafs were "one of four teams that have inquired about Nikita Zadorov."

Sportsnet is also reporting that the Leafs along with the Vancouver Canucks are two squads expected to make a serious push for Zadorov — who doesn't have a no-movement clause as he toils away on an expiring deal. The 28-year-old was inked to a fresh two-year, $7.5-million contract with Calgary under Treliving's watch ahead of the 2022-23 campaign after the then-Flames GM acquired Zadorov in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Agent Dan Milstein of Gold Star Sports, who represents the Russian blueliner, was active on social platform X (formerly Twitter) immediately following Friday's Flames-Leafs clash, first dropping an ominous post hinting that Zadorov asked for a trade. Maybe?

Then, in response to a Flames fan asking Milstein if Zadorov could potentially remain in Calgary, the agent appeared to shoot down that notion while taking a jab at his client's usage.

In fitting fashion, Zadorov had himself a massive night in front of the Leafs faithful despite the loss, scoring a goal — a rare occurrence for the stay-at-home-bruiser — and delivering an enormous hit on Toronto forward Tyler Bertuzzi in the third period. The Flames found a way to storm back to tie things up and snag a point after falling behind 4-1, but eventually fell in the shootout after Max Domi sealed a nail-biter for Toronto.

Zadorov has a goal and four helpers in 12 games so far this season. The 10-year NHL veteran has tallied 42 goals, 131 points and 588 penalty minutes in nearly 580 games with the Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, Blackhawks and Flames.

On top of Zadorov, fellow Flames blueliners Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev along with longtime star forward Elias Lindholm and others are set to become unrestricted free agents at season's end as this squad could look completely different in the coming months.