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3 Potential Landing Spots for Nazem Kadri

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TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 26: Nazem Kadri #91 of the Colorado Avalanche carries the Stanley Cup following the series winning victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Six of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on June 26, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by BRUCE BENNETT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Unrestricted free-agent Nazem Kadri is coming off a Stanley Cup Championship and a career-high 59 assists and 87 points through 71 regular-season games. 

The 31-year-old Canadian dominated possession with a 5.1 Relative Corsi For percentage at even strength this season, and a 57.9 CF% when adjusted for score and venue.

He’s looking to cash in on his career year and is also one of the top players in this year’s UFA class.

Here are 3 potential landing spots for Kadri this offseason.

Pittsburgh Penguins

If Pittsburgh lets veteran center Evgeni Malkin walk in free agency, Kadri would be a perfect second-line center to slide in below Sidney Crosby.

It’s also a proven fit for Kadri, as he played second fiddle to Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon the past three years.

There’s a respectable forward corps in place, and the 31-year-old center also showed off his acumen with the man advantage this season with 29 power-play points. 

It’s another area where Kadri could potentially seamlessly replace Malkin. 

The Penguins also have the cap space to accommodate Kadri, and as long as Crosby is lacing them up, Pittsburgh will be looking to contend.

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Anaheim Ducks

What if Kadri wants to be a No. 1 center?

He only posted 10 goals and 19 assists across 17 games with Nathan MacKinnon out of the lineup for the Avs this season, after all.

Life on the West Coast and out of a traditional hockey market might fit his fancy, too.

Kadri was selected with the seventh overall selection in the 2009 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs and spent 11 years – 10 NHL seasons – with the organization before playing the past three years with the Avalanche, while Colorado was a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

In Anaheim, Kadri can escape a lot of the pressure and attention that’s followed him since being a key cog for the London Knights all the way back in 2008.

Additionally, the Ducks are assembling an impressive collection of young talents in their rebuild, and they also have the cap space to make a handsome contract offer.

This is likely the last opportunity for Kadri to cash in on a long-term deal, too.

Colorado Avalanche

While the Avalanche have a lot of offseason decisions to make, they have some cap space, and a team-friendly contract could enable Kadri to stay with Colorado and take a run at another Stanley Cup next season.

It’s clearly a solid on-ice fit, and padding the bank account might not be the No. 1 priority for the 31-year-old Canadian.

Plus, Kadri has cashed in an estimated $38 million throughout his career already, according to Cap Friendly, and signed a middle-of-the-road deal with the Maple Leafs in 2016.

The Avs are also the Sportsbooks’ consensus Cup favorites again for the 2022-23 campaign, and their core projects to remain among the best in the NHL for the foreseeable future.

A return to Colorado to take a run at another championship would have to be appealing to the veteran, and it wouldn’t be the first time a high-profile UFA re-signed with his team.

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