Morning Mashup: Naz Attack

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OTTAWA, ON: MARCH 30, 2013 - Nazem Kadri (L) and Tyler Bozak of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate Kadri's goal against the Ottawa Senators during second period of NHL action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, March 30, 2013. Photo by Jean Levac/OTTAWA CITIZEN

Friend of site Nazem Kadri laid down a twitter diss yesterday, becoming, if I’m not forgetting something, the first Leaf player to directly call out a member of the Toronto media over Twitter:

If you weren’t following along yesterday, Nazem wasn’t taking exception to Alter’s tweet alone. As he alludes to Alter’s “stories,” his reprisal appears to have been inspired by Alter’s piece yesterday about the gulf in the current negotiation between Kadri and the Leafs. Alter reported that Kadri’s camp is asking for a long term deal worth $5 million per – after originally naming an asking price of $6 million/year – while the Leafs front office is offering a 2-year bridge deal worth around 3 million AAV, which is, give or take $500,000, what most of us have been expecting to eventually become of this protracted negotiation.

My guess is that the hold up centers on a $500,000-$1,000,000 difference between what the club is offering and what Kadri’s camp wants in his AAV on the bridge contract. Or, possibly Kadri’s camp wants his bridge deal to be one year long instead of two, giving himself a chance to prove himself to the club over 82 games before hashing out a more lucrative long term deal next summer (instead of having to wait the additional year). Maybe it’s about both of those things, but I doubt Kadri’s camp is asking for an exorbitant long-term deal at this stage and I’d imagine this is why Kadri was upset at Alter’s reporting.

That’s just the sense I’m getting and is mostly my own speculation, so of course I could be wrong. Maybe the feeling in Kadri’s camp is that he produced as he could’ve and would’ve done earlier if he had the opportunity to do so under the previous head coach, and that he deserves the faith of a long term contract which pays him like the player he was for 48 games last season. It’s not something I find likely, but I suppose it can’t be ruled out.

Really, this is exactly how I saw this whole thing playing out in this market when it comes to a protracted RFA negotiation with a high profile player like Kadri. It should get sorted in due time, but that of course won’t stop the articles from being written or fan anxiety from growing in the mean time.

Note: It’s worth pointing out that Alter’s response was calm and level headed, for which he deserves some credit. Recently listening to his guest appearance on Steve Dangle’s podcast, he seems like one of the good ones. If I was inclined to get mad at anyone in all of this, it’s at Steve Simmons for his steamy dump of a column entitled “Kadri’s self-belief is stalling negotiations” from earlier this week.

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Sunday morning links..

Interview: Dion Phaneuf wants to stay and win in Toronto
Sounds good to me.

What Might the Leafs’ Defense Look Like
No Liles in Tim’s projection.

David Alter reports Nazem Kadri wants a lot of money, Kadri fires back
Here’s Steve Dangle’s take on the Kadri/Alter exchange.

Top 25 under 25: #11 – Jerry D’Amigo
Will he get his first NHL action this season? You’d have to imagine so, at some point.

The Maple Leafs of My Youth
In case you missed this, Michael Langlois has published an ebook on iTunes. I bought it (only $3.99) and am really enjoying it so far.

ICYMI: Jonathan Bernier Viewing Party
If you’re looking to kill an hour and a half today and are so desperate for hockey you would be willing to watch an LA/Phoenix replay from last March, you can learn a little bit about Bernier by watching this game.

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • Dink

    One of the stupidest hockey rules has got to be, 19 is old enough to play in NHL but not the AHL (Reilly)

    Who thought this corker up?

  • Optimustic

    Good article Alec.  I’m sure Kadri’s negotiation isn’t being handled any differently than any similar player in any other NHL city, it’s just that this is TO and everything that’s said is blown out of proportion.  It’ll get done one way or the other, eventually.  Not sure what Nonis’s plans are, but he likely has something planned.

  • Burtonboy

    @Dink Morning Dink ..The AHL would take them in a heart beat but the CHL and NHL have an agreement that’s been in place for many yrs that prevents that . Its meant to protect Jr clubs from losing all it players to the pro leagues.  That would have a pretty significant financial impact on many Jr. Clubs

  • Dink

    Burtonboy at the very least if a dude plays his 9 NHL games he should be allowed in AHL

  • Burtonboy

    @Dink Burtonboy I doubt you will see it change anytime soon.

  • Burtonboy

    Yaknowwhat I doubt any player wants to sign a 1 yr deal Yak. One good knock on the head and your career is done so its understandable for them to look for as much term as they can get.

  • Burtonboy

    17 days till training camp opens. Can’t come soon enough so we can actually talk about hockey and hopefully all these other issue will be behind us .

  • Burtonboy

    Yaknowwhat Burtonboy I can’t see the Leafs being at all interested in a 1yr deal . Give all the signing they have for next it would be better not having Naz and Franson added to that list for next yr.

  • Burtonboy

    Yaknowwhat Burtonboy Its a normal negotiation anywhere else. Toronto is a fishbowl and when you get the likes of Simmon spewing his shit you can’t blame Naz for getting pissed. Never a dull moment in Leaf land eh

  • Burtonboy

    Yaknowwhat Burtonboy I would say . My guess is he’ll get somewhere between 3.0-3.5 and Franson around the same . Nonis has to move someone and its as simple as that. All he has to do is make it attractive enough.

  • Burtonboy

    Yaknowwhat Reminds me . I have to get my BP prescription renewed . Got a feeling I’m going to be swearing at a few talking heads this winter lol

  • gravyface

    Yaknowwhat you speak the truth brother.  I just want the season to start; can’t recall an off-season as dull as this one, it’s no wonder the media is getting a bit loose and lippy in their reporting… need those eyeballs.

  • Optimustic

    TheCanucksnaphook Sept 5th it all starts I believe.  Can’t wait, it may just be the rookie camp, but it’s hockey and it’s the Leafs rookies.

  • Jay_Berg

    I think the best case scenario for both sides is for Naz to sign a 2 year bridge deal. A 1 year deal is not an option as we already have Kessel, Phaneuf, etc to sign next offseason. A 3 year deal is probably not an option for the Naz camp as he will be lighing it up and become fairly underpaid.
    So 2 years at around 2.5-3 per should be a nice solution for both sides.

  • Great Dane

    I comment on the defense from Tim.
    I am pretty sure that Granberg will make the club out of training camp.
    But going into the season with defense of:

    Gunnar – Phaneuf
    Franson – Gardiner
    Ranger – Granberg
    Fraser
    That would not be too shabby.  A defense that would in IMHO one of the best 1-7 in the league.

  • Jay_Berg

    I just don’t see management giving in. And based on how frustrated Kadri seems by this process already and how much he just wants to play I think he will cave by training camp.

  • Zep2

    Great Dane With a healthy Gardiner and Gunner, Granberg – Ranger taking Kostkas  and Byrnes spot, you gotta believe believe that our defence is going to be much improved this year
    Nonis has also upgraded the goaltending , and though we lost Frattin and Grabs, adding Bolland and Clarkson should more than make up for that’
    The group in the lineup on opening nite should be a significantly stronger team than last year

  • Jay_Berg

    Ya management and the MSM they feed.
    Knowing Leafs nation the fan base will start to turn on Kadri the further this goes on. Doesn’t matter who’s fault it is. The fans opinions obviously mean a lot to Kadri so this is again why I don’t see him holding out.

  • Cameron19

    My guess remains the same.  Kadri is willing to take a bridge deal, but is asking for something in the 4 million range, possibly expecting to come down to 3.5 million.  The Leafs are low-balling him with a 2.25-2.50 million dollar per year offer, expecting to go as high as 3.  But I think Kadri’s anger over the story tells you that he certainly isn’t asking for the big money deal.  It’s likely Alter’s “source” is the same as Simmons’, which is to say, he doesn’t have one.

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Great Dane Could see him making the jump very quickly, like Gunnarsson did. They started Gunnar in the AHL almost just for the formality of Burke’s process and belief that guys should start there. If he’s the best option for our bottom pair on the right side, he should make the team regardless of that formality….in my opinion, of course.

  • Jay_Berg

    I’m not convinced a deal for 2.5-3 is a low ball offer.

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 Harder to say with Franson. He’s in a very peculiar position to be so close to UFA and not have arbitration rights.  He’s been very unfortunate financially thus far in his career.  He’s probably only taken home a shade over a million dollars over 6 years of his pro career, and he probably brings that baggage to the negotiating table.  At least he does finally seem to have learned not to talk about it publicly though.

  • Cameron19

    Jay_Berg I think 2.5 is a low-ball offer, and anything under is pretty pathetic nickel and diming – especially considering we just gave Bernier 2.9 for doing absolutely nothing for our organization, and playing an average of 15 games per year.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook I think he wants Shattenkirk money. 4.25 over 4-5 years.  And if the Leafs could pay it, I think he could get it

  • Jay_Berg

    I wonder if the Leafs are using the Kulemin deal as a bench mark? Kuli resigned for 2 years at 2.8’per after playing 4 full seasons and having a 30 goal season under his belt. Granted he was coming off an awful year. Nonetheless accomplished much more then Naz has at this point. The fact that has has yet to play 82 games in total cannot be overstated enough. I just don’t see how he has very much leverage.

  • Cameron19

    MaxwellHowe Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook Yea, I would agree with that.  He wants some security, and he’s tired of being told to take bridge contracts.  He has every right not to trust management when they say “take a 2 year deal and then you’ll get paid”.  He’s been screwed twice doing that.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Cameron19 MaxwellHowe TheCanucksnaphook 
    He is the only right shot currently in the top 6, he has offensive skills, promising power play dman and a body he is learning to throw around.

  • Cameron19

    Jay_Berg Kadri is no doubt saying that it’s not his fault the organization chose to use him unwisely during his ELC years.  He believes, perhaps rightfully so, that he could have been putting up these numbers all along if not for Ron Wilson. So he likely sees no reason for him to be punished for having “only played” 100 games.  Taylor Hall had only played 120 games when the Oilers gave him a 36 million dollar extension; Landeskog less. 

    Kadri has a point.  If not for Wilson, he’d probably be talking 4-5 right now without question, in my opinion.

  • Jay_Berg

    The whole Wilson argument is completely subjective though. It’s relatively weak in a contract negotiation IMO.

  • Cameron19

    Jay_Berg It contributes to what Kadri believes he is worth. Personally, I wish we had the cap space to lock these guys for 4-6 years in the 4.5 million range, as I think we’ll ultimately end up paying more for them by doing the bridge contract now and then the second contract.  If not for Liles, this would be a no-brainer.  Instead we have to be cheap with a guy we should be going to and saying “we want you here for a long time!”

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook His ability to play the left side makes him a strong possibility. Generally though, I feel even the Olympic team will try to avoid the politics of selecting a Leaf – especially one as polarizing as Dion.

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook Phook, its Sunday morning.  Must you do the devil’s work and incite a fight?

  • Zep2

    Cameron19 Jay_Berg I dont know about that. Kadri didnt have the strength or stamina in the early days.  He spent too much time getting knocked on his ass. 
    Even Eakins had issues with his conditioning with the Marlies
    For once , the Leafs handled a great prospect the right way. It would of helped Schenn and Rielly is getting the same treatment. Both were picked higher than Naz
    As a cautionary tale, look at RNH in Edmonton, how many more injuries to his shoulders before he’s done

  • Cameron19

    Zep2 Cameron19 Jay_Berg I’m not saying I agree with Kadri, I’m simply saying he believes it.  Don Cherry tells the whole world the same thing every second week, too. It doesn’t matter if it’s true, Kadri believes it is.

  • Zep2

    TheCanucksnaphook I think Lupul has a better chance

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Zep2 J.V.R. will make it. Komarov likely makes Team Finland.

  • MaxwellHowe

    TheCanucksnaphook MaxwellHowe Anything Dion related seems to inspire antagonism.

  • Cameron19

    Zep2 TheCanucksnaphook I think Lupul has almost no chance.  He’ll need to be amazing this year, injury free, and he’ll need about 10 guys to be injured or have ridiculously awful years for him to get the call.  Just too many guys in front of him in the eyes of Hockey Canada.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Cameron19 Zep2 TheCanucksnaphook He stay healthy and against all reason maintains the shooting percentage he had last year, he’ll get 50 goals – before the Olympics (never did the numbers, too lazy, but he would score a bundle)

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 His luck combined with Leaf luck = worst combo ever = disaster.

  • JMAC17

    Cameron19 Jay_Berg The Bernier contract is a bit of an issue, I agree fully!
    Kadri is obviously a very proud person and looks like is takes this stuff to heart.  He feels like he will be a star and wants that recognition now.

  • Zep2

    Cameron19 Zep2 TheCanucksnaphook Obviously he wont get there if injured. But since coming to the Leafs are there many Canadian left feds whose point production is as good.
    Gretzky in 2006 and Clarke in 1998 didnt necessarily choose the players who were playing the best and it didnt work well

  • GreekLeafer

    TheCanucksnaphook LOL that’s my hometown, why the hell would you even go?

  • Cameron19

    Zep2 Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook I just think they’ll go with tried and true options in their top six. He has to win a top six spot, because he’s not going to be a role player.  So who of the following is he going knock out:

    Stamkos – Crosby – Nash 
    E.Staal – Tavares – Giroux

    ?

    The bottom six will be for Toews, Richards, Bergeron, etc…role players.

  • Zep2

    Cameron19 Zep2 TheCanucksnaphook Yzerman and Nichols are saying there are 10 or 11 locks to make the team
    If you’re playing great and you can skate, you have a chance
    Eric Staal has been known to pull a disappearing act over long stretches, other players get injured, etc. If Luul is a PPG  player at Xmas he gets strong consideration. If Dion is on a 40-50 pt clip, do does he

  • Lescott

    There’ll likely be a top nine, bottom three for the Olympics. And he’d make a better LW than Staal. That said, he’s been better than a ppg over the past two seasons and didn’t get a camp invite. So he’s going to have to score every game again this year to get a spot.

  • Cameron19

    Zep2 Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook Dion is already a part of the team’s starting list though, and was last time as well.  He doesn’t need to play lights out to be considered – he’s already being considered.  Lupul has to play that way just to get recognized.

  • GreekLeafer

    TheCanucksnaphook GreekLeafer Oh I heard they have that event out in Morrisburg about 20 km’s west on the 401. If you want the best pizza in the world, check out Napoleon’s at 1 Montreal Rd. in Cornwall.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Cameron19
    “Personally, I wish we had the cap space to lock these guys for 4-6 years in the 4.5 million range, as I think we’ll ultimately end up paying more for them by doing the bridge contract now and then the second contract.If not for Liles, this would be a no-brainer.  ”
    I think this is bang on Cam. That’s the point I was trying to make yesterday.  While he may not have earned it yet, the Leafs signing him to a longer term now at less money might look pretty sweet a couple of years down the road, but it’s next to impossible with the Liles contract.
    You also have to remember that Kadri hangs out with guys on the Leafs like Kessel and Bozak and in the summer guys like Doughty.  He may not have proved he’s in their class yet (Bozak excepted)or maybe ever, but IMHO you can see his skill level and potential is way higher than Kulemin’s at the same point of their respective careers. 
    Since long term is out of the question right now, I could see the issue being whether the bridge is a one year deal, which the Kadri camp would prefer or a two year deal which the Leafs would prefer.  They may not be that far apart on the actual money.
    If, as Alec suggests, the Leafs want a 2 year deal at AAV of $3M and Kadri signs that, then the Leafs have definitely won the negotiations IMHO.

  • .JVR.

    @Dink 
    I think the rule should be looked at on an individual basis.  
    If it is deemed the player has nothing left to gain in the CHL, but would benefit greatly from the AHL, I think he should be allowed.
    If the player still has alot to gain from returning to CHL, then the AHL should not be allowed.