Nazem… the nightmare

Nazem Kadri celebrates goal

Nazem Kadri celebrates his second goal against Ottawa on March 30, 2012. (Photo by Jana Chytilova//Getty Images)

Across Toronto last season, he was called ‘Nazem the Dream’ – a bright spot for a Maple Leafs team that was looking for some kind of boost after missing the playoffs for  eight straight seasons.

But after his disappearing act in their first round exit against the Bruins, Leaf fans haven’t had much love for the London, Ontario native. 

One reason is because he had fans excited about his play all season – only to disappoint in the playoffs.

And the other – is his lack of commitment to getting a deal done with the blue and white.

According to, the Toronto Maple Leafs have roughly five million dollars in cap space heading into the 2013-2014 season. With two major role players in Kadri and Cody Franson still not signed, the Leafs are trying to clear up space so both can be with the team to start training camp.

However – as it’s been reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie – the Leafs and Kadri remain apart when it comes to the dollar amount of a possible two-year contract.

Trying to fit all the pieces on the team, the Leafs have reportedly offered the 22-year old forward a two-year deal worth just over $5 million. However Kadri is said to be asking for an amount more in the range of $7 million.

There is no question that when the time comes – and if Kadri can maintain his point per game totals – that he will get paid quite kindly. It’s the same issue that Montreal had with P. K. Subban last year. But at this point in time, is Nazem Kadri worth $3.5 million?

The answer? No.

He played great for the first three-quarters of a shortened season and disappeared offensively when the team needed him. He’s got a lot of upside. He plays physically for a guy his size and can put the puck in the net. But as a player he needs to grow. He needs to be consistent and play a full season showing this type of potential before he makes contract demands the way he did this offseason.

So will ‘Nazem the Dream’ start the regular season as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. There’s a chance. But with the Leafs inviting Mason Raymond to training camp and needing a guy like Franson on the blue line, there is still a possibility that the nightmare could continue for the Kadri-Leafs relationship.


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