Each week Elliotte Friedman posts his excellent “30 Thoughts” piece regarding the goings on in the NHL. We’ll dig through all 30 of his tidbits and lay down all of the Maple Leafs related news for your perusal, along with our reactions, which next to Friedman’s commentary will look like a string of feeble mutterings. For this week’s full 30 Thoughts, go here.
16. Very shrewd of the Toronto Maple Leafs to give Nazem Kadri an “A” for the opening exhibition game in his junior stomping grounds of London, Ont. Kadri made it very clear that he was upset with reports of his asking price ($6 million per season). With 20/20 hindsight, I think he knew pretty quickly he was going to get a bridge contract. But he and agent Brian MacDonald swung for the fences early like a lot of players do. When it took a while to settle, that initial try became a big part of the story.
I think it was an absolute no brainer for Carlyle to give Kadri the “A” given the game was taking place in London, he was one of the only “veterans” in the line up and it was where he played junior. To not give him an “A” would be a bit of an affront.
While I agree with Friedman that Kadri was upset with leaks about his “asking price”, I don’t think making him an assistant captain for an exhibition game does anything to quell any hard feelings that remain. Kadri is a big boy, and I’m sure that he realizes the “leaks” during negotiations are all apart of the business, and I’m even more sure he’ll remember next time he’s negotiating a contract.
17. Second theory: Toronto indicated the pitch that led to a settlement came hours before it was signed. Conclusion: Kadri was never going to miss training camp.
Kadri was doing what all young professional athletes should do: looking for long-term security. Kadri was hoping that the Leafs would look to potentially keep his future cost down by locking him up now. I think he was coming to camp all along, but was hoping the Leafs would budge on their committment. Unfortunately for Kadri, and maybe the Maple Leafs, they didn’t have the cap room to make such an offer.
22. Before Carolina signed Ron Hainsey, Toronto fans wondered if the Hurricanes would have interest in John-Michael Liles. They did, three years ago, his final season in Colorado. But Liles vetoed a trade to the Tar Heel State, so it’s hard to see a second attempt.
John-Michael Liles is still a very serviceable NHL defenseman on a not terrible (but not good) contract. Liles is expendable in Toronto because due to the depth of their blue line and lack of salary cap room (thanks Dave Nonis!) to sign Cody Franson. It doesn’t sound like Carolina was ever an option, but I’ve also heard rumblings about Calgary possibly taking him on, which on the surface doesn’t make a ton of sense, but the Flames have a lot of cap room and if they were given a good reason, like say a draft pick, maybe Burkie good be persuaded to eat some salary.