Two Days Until Camp Opens…

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I’ve become known as a bit of a Kadri sympathizer in comment section debates on the Nazem Kadri contract negotiation. I’ll make this clear: I do not blame Dave Nonis and Claude Loiselle for the essence of what they’re trying to accomplish with the negotiation. Kadri’s situation is far from unique when it comes to high profile RFAs, both past (see below) and present (Stepan, Pietrangelo).

What bothers me is the media offensive against Kadri via various insiders and one in particular. It has been the player who so many fans have been quick to jump on and advise to “shut up.” I think that advice would be more apropos for the team than the player, based on what I’m seeing and hearing. Both of Kadri’s tweets have been on the defensive, and I do not believe Kadri is expecting a long term deal at the figures reported.

Consider these figures instead:

PlayerContract AAV
Contract LengthAgeProductionGamesPPGDate SignedCap Ceiling
Matt Duchene$3.5 million2 years21150 pts2190.68June 23rd, 2012$70.2 million
James Neal$2.875 million2 years2392 pts1550.59Sept. 16th, 2010$59.4 million
Logan Couture$2.875 million2 years2165 pts1040.63August 26th, 2011$70.2 million
Tyler Ennis$2.812 million2 years2183 pts1400.59Sept. 15th, 2012$70.2 million
Nazem Kadri$2.9 million2 years2263 pts990.64Sept. 10th, 2013$64.2 million

Management’s perspective:

Both Couture and Duchene had their contracts extended after their first season of a two-year bridge deal, receiving long term deals worth $6 million AAV. This is the goal Kadri should be aiming for. In the interim, his numbers and sample size stack up closer to Couture and Ennis’ than Duchene’s. His sample size is the smallest of these six players. The team is working with a 9% reduction on the cap, as well.

Kadri’s perspective:

Kadri’s camp probably wants something closer to Duchene’s bridge contract for a few reasons. 1) He may feel his opportunity to build a bigger body of work was delayed due to a coach who didn’t like him and treated him unfairly; 2) He was on a 75-point pace last season and was deprived of a full season by the lockout, which was out of his control; 3) He’s seeing overpayments all around him in Toronto, starting first and foremost with a fellow RFA in goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who has has only started 54 games by the age 25 and received $2.9 million for the next two seasons.

 

With 3) especially, Kadri would have a point. The team went and acquired a player more for desire than need and it has put them in a tight cap situation. It’s hard for management to take the line of “potential is great, but it’s about experience and what you’ve proven” if they just handed $2.9 million to a 25-year-old RFA of 62 games; this despite having Reimer in net and before getting a player (Kadri) signed who contributed in a big way to the team’s first playoff appearance in nine years. If the team wants to talk about the 48-game sample size with Kadri, it should be wary of sample sizes and experience vs. potential when it comes to Bernier, as well. Bernier may have been exposed to an offer sheet, but so is Kadri, and the fact that the team felt it needed to lock down Bernier because they traded assets for him isn’t really Kadri’s concern.

It’s hard to argue a little below $3 million is unreasonable for Kadri if we’re going by recent comparables. It’s also hard to argue Kadri doesn’t have the right to feel a little boned based on the club’s actions earlier in the summer.

Let’s continue to hope this deal gets done before it affects Kadri’s ability to come in and have a strong camp, a scenario that could hurt all parties involved.

  • Waterwolf

    He will sign before camp starts

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    what about Frany? no one really seems worried about him at this point lol

  • peterbleafs

    Ive always been on Kadris side, hadnt heard the Nonis comments before and these do annoy me.  I also do not listen to Dreger so never heard those either.  Nonis like any manager, has to learn more tact when it comes to the team.  He is a young guy and likely has some management immaturity about him but really, a comment like that is akin to asking Kadri…Is there a team you want to be traded too, cause Ill do it.  For all we complement the Leaf moves, changes, etc, this is still not an elite sophisticated management team like Detroit has in place.  So advice to Nonis….learn and Kadri, as long as your fair, stick to your guns.

  • mapleleafforever

    Love the balance of this analysis. I think you summed up both sides of it nicely.
    I’m guessing Kadri has $2.85 million on the table and he wants a little over 3.

  • Zep2

    Im sitting firmly on the fence on Kadri and management . A pox on both their houses if this blows up in their faces

  • mcloki

    Zep2 well the calls for people to not overreact to a 22 year olds contract negotiation have been heard.

  • TheGroobster

    If anyone else has trouble signing into livefyre, go into your browser settings and see if you are blocking third party cookies

  • rickpearce76

    I’d be fine with 2.9 for Kadri. That puts him in the range with the players mentioned and should be enough. Problem is they have to get Franson signed too. Time to make a move Leafs…

  • djamon

    peterbleafs Nonis is one of the more experienced GM’s out there. I don’t disagree with anything he’s said to this point…including the comment Alec brought up. I agree with that 100%…Toronto offers something to a hockey player no other city does, it should be worth it to the right player.

  • peterbleafs

    djamon peterbleafs That is not the way to win loyalty djamon from Kadri.  It doesnt matter if what Nonis said was true, it matters that he said it out loud when in fact Toronto has been a total disaster for longer than I can remember.  Toronto has not earned that privileged place to play as yet.

  • TheGroobster

    So do NHL teams have to be cap compliant from Day 1 of training camp or is it sometime in late September (28th)?

  • peterbleafs

    So far as I can tell….toronto has been out managed by Ottawa, Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, hell even New Jersey.

  • djamon

    peterbleafs As far as I’m concerned it’s not up to the Leafs to win Kadri’s loyalty. They pay for that. Kadri has ALL the earning to do. 
    It’s business…not friendship. You’d be wise to remember that.

  • peterbleafs

    djamon peterbleafs People play for money, they go through the wall for loyalty, you ought to remember that.

  • djamon

    peterbleafs NJ and Philly? That’s ridiculous. Detroit has been great, but now they’re facing their first real test in almost 20 years. LA was like the Leafs…mismanaged for years until they got it right. We’re very similar to them currently.

  • The_Irv

    2.5-3m per is fine with me for two years. Lets get it done and carry on, I’m tired of this lol.
    By the way, what do people predict Franson is asking for?

  • peterbleafs

    djamon peterbleafs Detroits farm team won the Calder Cup are you saying they are weak?  NJ has been a top flight team forever.  Were it not for money issues they would still be miles above us.

  • djamon

    peterbleafs That attitude explains why you’re on Kadri’s side in all this. He doesn’t go through any walls out of loyalty. He does it for the same reason all players do it…to get paid.

  • djamon

    peterbleafs NJ hasn’t been a top flight team for a while now (their surprise run to the Finals notwithstanding). The whole Kovalchuk situation was a farce. And they currently suck.

  • peterbleafs

    djamon peterbleafs We are going to have to agree to disagree I believe people do things for people first and foremost.  Kadri has the attitude of a winner, and I do not want that attitude peddled away on us.  Id rather we do a fair deal with him and get on with it.

  • peterbleafs

    djamon peterbleafs My point there was simply that Lou Lamorello is miles better than Nonis is.  Put Lou in Toronto we are winners every year.

  • peterbleafs

    djamon peterbleafs But work time, thanks for the banter!

  • Alec Brownscombe

    djamon peterbleafs I hate to admit it, but Bryan Murray is pretty damn good at his job.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    djamon peterbleafs didn’t Alfie just jump ship from there?

  • djamon

    Alec Brownscombe He’s been excellent at drafting…but he’s pretty bad at other things.

  • The_Irv

    TheCanucksnaphook The_Irv  I think it is something like 2 years that brings him to UFA which is probably his goal, but I think its the cap available that is holding Franson’s contract up.
    This is my own personal speculation, but does anyone think the Franson contract will be delayed to see how some of the younger guys do?
    Maybe they have a deal in place to deal Franson if someone (Rielly, Blacker?) stands out in camp, and they feel comfortable moving him.
    Kadri will be signed. I’m not concerned, just wish it were done with so we could move on from this.
    Fact is I do not believe we have the cap space to sign both Franson and Kadri, so something has to give.

  • djamon

    TheGroobster End of Camp I believe.

  • The_Irv

    TheCanucksnaphook rickpearce76 Doesn’t 3m per for Kadri, only leave roughly 1.9 or so for Franson?

  • Mind Bomb

    Dangle_My_Berries djamon peterbleafs Good call By Murray

  • Alec Brownscombe

    The_Irv TheCanucksnaphook Thought it was very strange when he said he was likely looking at a one year contract.
    2 years takes him to UFA, you would think that’s first priority.

  • TheGroobster

    djamon TheGroobster OK so if the Leafs can get them signed in the next couple of days, they can come to training camp. Then see how everything plays out in camp before you make any moves.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Mind Bomb Dangle_My_Berries djamon peterbleafs ill give him this, getting Bobby Ryan was out of left field….that being said, he couldnt let Alfi go without replacing him in some capacity, and the player needed to have the “star” potential to help ease the pain of their captain giving them a big FU

  • rtgwood

    Alec Brownscombe The_Irv TheCanucksnaphook 1 year and he files for arbitration. Either gets paid a year sooner, or he gets to be UFA a year earlier if the Leafs decide to walk. 1 yr x $2.5M.

  • Cartsy

    Yaknowwhat Further to your point about the quote from Nonis, I believe he made that comment when asked about a Kessel extension, not Kadri’s ongoing contract negotiations.  Although I could be wrong…

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Lebrun feels that Oilers screwed up by having RNH join the league before he was physically mature….I would tend to agree

  • Xxxxxnew

    Franson’s already made reasonable statements about accepting another bridge contract, it doesn’t seem to bother him. Sounds like he wants to be part of the team and is willing to work for a bigger deal in a few years.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cartsy Yaknowwhat I looked into it. Seems to be some debate about whether or not he was taking a shot at Kadri or not. I’ve removed the quote just to err on the safe side. Thanks.

  • Xxxxxnew

    I’ve never understood the “treated him unfairly” stuff.

  • Xxxxxnew

    That’s been a general feeling for over a year now. I remember chatter about that from fams in Edmonton over a year ago. Same thing when injuries were piling up on Hall.

  • zombie27

    Xxxxxnew I would guess at least one of them, likely Franson, gets done in the
    next couple days before camp, and the other will follow not far behind.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Yaknowwhat  I didn’t say the Wilson treatment was a valid point, I don’t think it is. 
    The Bernier thing definitely is valid.
    “With regards to Bernier..Its simply not realistic to compare Bernier’s contract situation to Kadri’s. Bernier was brought in via trade and Bernier’s player status left Nonis vulnerable..”
    You act like Nonis had no choice in the matter?
    “Goalie experts” is a laughable point. Lots of “player experts” think Kadri is a damn good player, too. So does that mean he gets an inflated deal too? So now we’re ok with paying for potential but Kadri has to earn every single dollar with past production?
    It doesn’t matter the circumstances that lead up to Bernier getting that contract. The team knew what it was getting itself into my making the trade. It doesn’t change that it’s unfair to ask Kadri accept less than what the team just handed Bernier.

  • rickpearce76

    The_Irv TheCanucksnaphook rickpearce76 We need to ship someone out of town. Ideally one of the fighters and a dman.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Xxxxxnew and this is precisely why drafting in the lottery isn’t always a sure thing…..different players, different drafts, different luck, different approach to developing players…

  • Komas Taberle

    Did you know that Mason Raymond was the best in the league in Corsi in the 2011-2012 season.
    Take that PPP and all you propeller heads out there.

  • Xxxxxnew

    Here’s the portion of the article where he’s talking about it. Seems clear he’s talking about Phil.
    Kessel has expressed that he doesn’t want to negotiate during the season to avoid distraction, and although that worries some Leafs fans it doesn’t worry Nonis.
    “Tyler Bozak didn’t talk during the season and he was a player that wanted to play in Toronto,” Nonis said. “If a player wants to play in the city that he’s playing in currently he can usually find a way of getting a deal done. The contract negotiations for a player like Phil, if they take place at all, shouldn’t take that long.
    “If Phil decides he wants to wait to the end of the year and we’re having a great year with him and we’re not getting offers that made sense for a player like Phil you wouldn’t trade him. You’d see if you could have the organization go as far as it could and try and take your chances in the summer.

  • TheGroobster

    If the Leafs sign Kadri and Franson today they have until the end of September (27th, 28th, 29th?) to clear cap space.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Alec Brownscombe Yaknowwhat
    Because of the value of the Bernier’s contract, he was an actrative offer sheet candidate. 
    To start, here are the compensation ranges:$1,110,249 or below – No CompensationOver $1,110,249 to $1,682,194 – 3rd round pickOver $1,682,194 to $3,364,391 – 2nd round pickOver $3,364,391 to $5,046,585 – 1st round pick, 3rdOver $5,046,585 to $6,728,781 – 1st round pick, 2nd, 3rdOver $6,728,781 To $8,410,976 – Two 1st Round Picks, 2nd, 3rdOver $8,410,976 – Four 1st Round Picks
    Those would be the two compensation levels for Bernier. Who wouldn’t offer sheet the Leafs for a goalie of Bernier’s… err… ceiling? Even at $3.364-$5m, he’s probably worth an offer sheet. 
    That’s why the Leafs signed him early and to that amount.

  • Leafs rule

    Komas Taberlere Take that PPP and all you propeller heads out there.,ohhh that s even funny when I C&P that lmao,, prop heads beware ,no free lunch here

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Dangle_My_Berries Xxxxxnew 
    Can’t help but think his injuries wouldn’t be an issue if he had some padding around his comparatively weak frame. These days, I think there are very few 18 year olds that can walk into the NHL and play without there being some hindrance to their development. He was borderline.

  • Komas Taberle

    Leafs rule Komas Taberle The propeller heads would probably count the calories of each bite if they were offered free lunch