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 destination.
The contract will run for seven years and has a cap hit of $7 million, according to a competition source.
To make room for the salary cap for Kadri, the Flames are also working on a transaction to send center Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens, according to multiple reports.
Kadri, who turns 32 in October, had a career best of 87 points in 71 games for the Colorado Avalanche last season. He has 512 points in 739 games in his 13-year NHL career, including 10 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Kadri is known for his game with a lead, which has led to six suspensions in his career, including three in the playoffs, though notably he avoided any additional discipline during Colorado’s run-up to the Stanley Cup.
Connecting well with Colorado’s powerful powerplay units, Kadri raised his profile even more in the postseason when he returned from a thumb injury and scored an overtime goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was injured in the Western Conference final when Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane sustained an entry alty by driving Kadri into the wall behind the net. The Avalanche went on to sweep that streak.
Kadri was one of the most prominent unrestricted free agents in the off-season market, which opened on July 13. As weeks passed without an announced signing, speculation has been brewing that Kadri could strike a deal with the New York Islanders, whose general manager, Lou Lamoriello, is notorious for being tight-lipped on transactions and who would have the cap space. must free up in order to acquire it.
Instead, the Flames landed Kadri, continuing a chaotic offseason in which Calgary lost its two leading scorers. Winger Johnny Gaudreau left the franchise after nine seasons to sign a free agent contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Striker Matthew Tkachuk, who was one season away from unrestricted free agency, was traded to the Florida Panthers in July after making it clear he did not want to stay in Calgary long term.
Kadri’s signing continues an aggressive Plan B for GM Brad Treliving and the Flames, who took over left-wing star Jonathan Huberdeau and defender MacKenzie Weegar from the Panthers for Tkachuk. Calgary then signed Huberdeau to an eight-year contract with a $10.5 million cap hit to supposedly replace Gaudreau.
Monahan, 27, played all of his nine seasons in the NHL with the Flames. Once the top center of the team, Monahan suffered a series of injuries that affected his output and ice age. During the 2021-2022 season, he was a healthy scratch at times, averaging 14:04 in 65 games before his season was halted due to hip surgery. The sixth overall pick in 2013, Monahan is entering the final season of a seven-year deal with a $6.375 million cap hit.