Update:  More reports of exorbitant long term contract demands from Kadri have been denied by Nazem himself on Twitter. Just as David Alter did, Bob McKenzie stuck by his source and replied by asking Naz to clear the air with some specifics on his contract demands.

Some will say the whole thing could have been avoided and that with better cap management Kadri would be under contract by now; others will read the reports far too literally and decry Kadri’s ludicrous demands as indicative of  a need for an attitude adjustment. I’ll just say it would be an odd and seemingly self-destructive move for Kadri to deny these reports if the terms reported are indeed the ones he is asking for and expecting to receive. While McKenzie is the king of hockey insiders, it wouldn’t be the first time he or Dreger have reported asinine contract demands only for us to find out that what a player may have initially asked for and what he ends up getting are often two very different things. I would hope negotiations have progressed past the point where the Leafs are offering a bridge contract worth approx. $3 mill  per while Kadri’s camp awaits an offer worth $5.5 million per over 6  years.

Here is McKenzie’s take on how it will all play out.

All signs still  point to a bridge contract worth between $3 and 3.5 million. It’s just a question of when and if it will involve any missed time from the Leafs‘ most valuable center.  As much as I could point to certain moves I’ve  seen as wasteful, we kind of have to give Nonis these next two weeks. What’s the benefit of signing a deal today rather than the 15th if it means putting the Leafs in a worse cap situation moving forward?


Original post:

Leafs players and management have been meeting with the media today at the Leafs Charity Golf Classic (a stream is available here).

First and foremost, there were a few small updates provided in the Cody Franson and Nazem Kadri contract situations.

It seems, based on some of the tweets today, that Franson is open to signing a one-year contract. That strikes one as odd given a two-year bridge takes Franson to unrestricted free agency. It’s possible Franson’s main priority is hitting the ground running in camp and starting off on the right foot, with an eye toward a longer term deal next off season. He would be an RFA again next summer, but he would get to revisit his contract again right away having had the 82-game season to build up his body of work headed into his next negotiation.

This could help the Leafs make the cap work for this season – I could see Franson signing a one year deal in the high 2s – but the club should be weary of adding more expiring contracts to the pile for next off season. It sounds like the Leafs could be adding Franson to the list alongside the others – Phaneuf, Kessel, Kulemin, Reimer, Gardiner and potentially Bolland – in need of contracts in the 2014 off-season. Locking down Kadri for two seasons at a reasonable figure seems imperative. On that note, the vibe feels considerably less optimistic with Kadri at the moment when it comes to getting a deal done before training camp. Dave Poulin told the reporters the following:


The line out of Kadri’s camp, meanwhile:

Sounds like there is a bit of a stand off between the two sides at the moment. The stuff about Kadri asking for something in the neighbourhood of $5.5 million per over 6 years, which Nazem seemingly denied on Twitter when David Alter first reported it, just won’t go away either:


Cap issues aside, it goes without saying that this is not a type of deal the Leafs should be considering at this stage of the game with Kadri.


In other news, Jonathan Bernier has reportedly stolen Randy Carlyle’s parking space at the MCC. I get that Bernier is gunning for Reimer’s job and is embracing the whole “I’m a new man who takes what he wants” attitude, but this is kind of a dick move, new guy. He also took Nonis’ spot and seems proud of it.


Chris Johnston and David Alter are both reporting from the course today if you’re looking to follow along for more updates.


Check out the interviews from today’s Legends Charity Golf Classic at RattleSnake Point:

Previous articleCheers to 5 Years
Next articleOpening Day of the 2013 Rookie Tournament
Alec Brownscombe is the founder and editor of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He's published five magazines on the team entitled "The Maple Leafs Annual" with distribution in Chapters and newsstands across the country. He also co-hosts "The Battle of the Atlantic," a weekly show on TSN1200 that covers the Leafs and the NHL in-depth. Alec is a graduate of Trent University and Algonquin College with his diploma in Journalism. In 2014, he was awarded Canada's Best Hockey Blogger honours by Molson Canadian. You can contact him at alec.brownscombe@mapleleafshotstove.com.