Stanley Cup champion Nazem Kadri is in the perfect spot as he considers his next move, with New York offering a potentially attractive balance of competitiveness and contract terms.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: How about Nazem Kadri, who's seen as the second best free agent available on most people's big board? Sam, where do you think your boy Naz is going to head up-- is going to end up? Is he staying in Colorado, is he going somewhere else, where do you think?
SAM CHANG: I was like a little hopeful they'd make something work in Colorado. But with that nutrition contract, I don't see how you make that work, especially when you to-- you need to pay Nathan MacKinnon real soon. Plus you're probably to have to pay Bo and Byram, unless he's also walking.
Where does Nazem Kadri go? I don't-- I actually don't know. That's like one person where I think, if I'm Kadri, I test every offer that comes my way. Like I pull the John Tavares, like, listen to every single team who has an offer to make thing. And just revel in it. Because that's what he actually deserves.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: What about you, Avery?
AVERY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: I've heard these teams mentioned a couple of times. I've heard either the Rangers or the [INAUDIBLE]. I think him with the Rangers would be pretty cool looking. Playing in New York would be pretty cool to see.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: OK, what about you, Cuth?
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Yeah. I mean, it comes down to what he wants. Does he want, like, the best opportunity to win again, or does he want the most money? I kind of think he'll gravitate towards the most money. And I think the most money might be Detroit, if they're willing to get involved, and maybe forgo the chance of getting Connor Bedard, or be involved in the lottery.
Not that Nazem Kadri will completely turn their fortunes around, but I think you have to start eventually putting pieces in place and Kadri could be one that lasts a little bit longer. But I think the Rangers might actually be like the perfect balance between competitiveness and money.
I think he could probably get six and a half from the Rangers and play on a team that might be one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference to go to the Stanley Cup Final next year. I really like the sounds of the Rangers. I think that'd be a great fit for him. Kind of meets his personality as well.
Detroit, New York. Those ones make sense to me.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah, Detroit-- like if Leaf fans miss Nazem Kadri that much, they could just drive to Detroit to see him whenever they want to. So there's always that.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: His hometown is just as close to Detroit as it is Toronto. So it would be somewhat of a homecoming for him as well.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: So London's like a midpoint, I guess?
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Yeah, London's on the way to the border, on the way to Windsor in Michigan, yeah.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: OK, as someone who doesn't live in Ontario, I'm always glad whenever I get those geography lessons. I would like for him to stay in Colorado. I think it would just be like a nice story. But you have sold me on the New York Rangers. It is-- like the Rangers, I still think, are going to be a team to beat in the Eastern Conference for quite some time.
And for them to get a proven center, a Stanley Cup winning center, and Nazem Kadri for the next how many years, that makes a lot of sense.