Nazem Kadri agrees to 7-year deal with Calgary Flames, sources say

Nazem Kadri has agreed to a contract with the Calgary Flames, sources tell ESPN, as the free agent center ends weeks of speculation about his next NHL target.

The contract has a seven-year term and a $7 million cap, according to a league source.

To make room for Kadri’s salary cap, the Flames are also working on a trade to send center Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens, according to multiple reports.

Kadri, who turns 32 in October, had a career-best 87 points in 71 games for the Colorado Avalanche last season. He has 512 points in 739 games over his 13-year NHL career, which includes 10 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Kadri is known for playing with an edge in his game, which has resulted in six career bans, including three in the playoffs — despite avoiding any additional discipline during Colorado’s run to the Stanley Cup.

Kadri interfered well in Colorado’s high-profile powerplay sessions and raised his profile even more in the postseason when he returned from a thumb injury and scored in overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was injured in the Western Conference Finals when Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane received a boarding penalty when Kadri drove into the wall behind the net. The Avalanche went on to sweep that series.

Kadri was one of the most prominent free agents in the offseason market, which opened on July 13. As weeks went by without an announced signing, there was speculation that Kadri could strike a deal with the New York Islanders, whose general manager, Lou Lamoriello, is notoriously tight-lipped about transactions and who should have vacated the cap space, to purchase it.

Instead, the Flames landed Kadri and continued a chaotic offseason that saw Calgary lose their top two scorers. Winger Johnny Gaudreau left the franchise after nine seasons to sign as a free agent with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Forward Matthew Tkachuk, a season away from an unrestricted free hand, was traded to the Florida Panthers in July after making it clear he didn’t want to remain in Calgary long-term.

Kadri’s signing continues an aggressive back-up for GM Brad Treliving and the Flames, who have taken over star left wing Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman MacKenzie Weegar from the Panthers for Tkachuk. Calgary then signed Huberdeau to an eight-year deal capped at $10.5 million, ostensibly to replace Gaudreau.

Monahan, 27, has played all of his nine seasons in the NHL with the Flames. Monahan, once the team’s top center, suffered a series of injuries that impacted his performance and ice time. He was intermittently a healthy scratch in the 2021-22 season, averaging a career-low 14:04 in 65 games before his season ended with hip surgery. Monahan, the sixth overall pick in 2013, is entering the final season of a seven-year deal that sees a $6.375 million cap hit. Nazem Kadri agrees to 7-year deal with Calgary Flames, sources say

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