Nazim Kadri has agreed to sign a contract with the Calgary Flames, sources told ESPN, ending weeks of speculation about the free agent center’s next NHL destination.
The contract is for seven years and is worth $7 million, a league source said.
To make salary cap space for Kadri, multiple reports indicate that the Flames are working on a trade to send Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens.
Kadri, who turns 32 in October, had a career-best 87 points in 71 games last season for the Colorado Avalanche. He had 512 points in 739 games during his 13-year NHL career that included 10 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Kadri is known for playing on the edge of the game, which has resulted in six career suspensions, including three in the game — though he avoided any further discipline, especially during Colorado’s run to the Stanley Cup.
Kadri meshed well with Colorado’s high-octane power play units and raised his profile even further in the postseason, coming back from a thumb injury to score an overtime goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane was injured in the Western Conference Finals when he was called for a riding penalty while riding Kadrien against the back wall of the net. The Hurricanes went on to sweep that streak.
Kadri, who opened on July 13, was one of the most notable unrestricted free agents on the market this season. As the weeks went by without an announced signing, there was speculation that Cadre’s general manager could strike a deal with the New York Islanders. Lou Lamoriello is tight-lipped about trades and it’s clear who would need to clear cap space to get him.
Instead, it was the Flames who landed Kadri, continuing a tumultuous offseason in which Calgary lost its two leading scorers. Winger Johnny Gaudre left the franchise after nine seasons to sign a free agent deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Forward Matthew Tkachuk, one season away from unrestricted free agency, was traded to the Florida Panthers in July after making it clear he didn’t want to stay in Calgary long-term.
Kadri continued “Plan B” for GM Brad Treliving and the Flames, who acquired star left wing Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman Mackenzie Wegar from the Panthers for Tkachuk. Calgary then signed Huberdeau to an eight-year contract worth $10.5 million to replace Gaudreau.
Monahan, 27, played all nine seasons in the NHL with the Flames. While he was once their top center, Monahan suffered a series of injuries that affected his scoring and ice time. He was a healthy scratch in the 2021-22 season, averaging a career-low 14:04 in 65 games before being shut down for hip surgery. The sixth overall pick in 2013, Monahan is entering the final season of a seven-year contract worth $6.375 million.