Trading Nazem Kadri is still one of the biggest blunders in Toronto Maple Leafs history, as the 31-year-old won his first career Stanley Cup last night.
Minutes after winning the Stanley Cup, Nazem Kadri made a comment that was almost a direct-shot at Toronto Maple Leafs GM, Kyle Dubas saying:
“For everyone that thought I was a liability in the playoffs, you can kiss my ass” (via: The Toronto Star)
If you don’t think these players are listening to the media or know what’s being said about them, think again. After getting suspended in the playoffs twice with the Leafs, Kadri was shipped out of town for Tyson Barrie and Alex Kerfoot.
Toronto acquired an offensive defenseman who couldn’t play defense and a third-line centre who only made $1M less than Kadri, but is only half as good.
The Leafs justified the trade because they thought Kadri was hurting the team more than helping, but in my opinion, that couldn’t be any more wrong.
Sure, Kadri did get suspended in the playoffs again, but it’s that edge that makes him so valuable.
Kadri Trade Keeps Getting Worse for Toronto Maple Leafs Fans
Drafted seventh overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Kadri took a few years to finally make the NHL, but once he did, he proved himself right away. He turned into a two-time 30-goal scorer, but also transformed his game into becoming a reliable two-way forward.
He could shutdown someone like Connor McDavid in the defensive-zone and then rip home a wrist-shot on the power-play a few minutes later.
Two-way centre’s are hard to come by in the NHL and the Leafs shipped him away for peanuts.
From the interviews after being dealt, that trade broke Kadri’s heart as Toronto was the city he loved and it’s where he wanted to win. I know hockey is a harsh business but when you have a 30-goal scorer making $4.5M on a team-friendly deal, you need to keep him on the roster.
Joe Sakic fleeced Kyle Dubas in that trade.
As a pending UFA, Kadri deserves all of the money in the world after his performance this year. Not only did he produce when he was healthy during the regular season, but the fact that Kadri couldn’t even tie his skates, due to a broken hand, and he still scored a game-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals, tells you everything you need to know about him.
Toronto’s GM should sick to his stomach this morning knowing that he gave away Kadri for Barrie and Kerfoot. Mistakes happen, but gifting Kadri away is painful, especially when Kadri had more points, more goals and a bigger impact in the playoffs than Tavares did.
Although millions of Leafs fans across the world wished it happened in a blue-and-white sweater, we couldn’t be more proud of Nazem Kadri for accomplishing his dream and finally winning a Stanley Cup last night.