Examining what Nazem Kadri would mean for the Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings have had a hectic offseason. The team has been busy with the draft and hiring a head coach. This led to the draft, where they brought in several pieces for the Red Wings roster ahead of the 2022-23 season.

However, it seems that the Detroit Red Wings may not be done bringing in new players. The latest rumors around the league point to the idea that Steve Yzerman could be getting ready to make another splash in free agency. It seems that the Red Wings are in pursuit of forward Nazem Kadri.

He’s a 13-year veteran of the league at this point and has been around for over a decade, making me feel quite old, even as a kid. Kadri came up with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, where he spent parts of ten seasons. Kadri was with the Colorado Avalanche the last three seasons and is fresh off of a Stanley Cup victory he achieved with the team in 2021-22.

Kadri will be 32 years old in the 2022-23 season and is fresh off of a year where he posted a career-best performance. With that, the Red Wings are rumored to be in on Kadri or at least doing their due diligence on the forward before moving on.

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Let’s take a deeper look at the Detroit Red Wings making a play for Nazem Kadri.

There’s some sticker shock, but in a good way, with Kadri and his recent performance. With the Avalanche this past season, he set career highs in some categories. Over 71 games, Kadri picked up 28 goals and 59 assists for 87 total points for the Avalanche, emerging as a reliable source of offense.

There’s plenty to like about adding a nearly 30-goal scorer who was closing in on 100 points by the end of last season. Plus, Kadri plays with some grit. He’s not afraid to use the body, mix in a hard-hit, get dirty, and be a physical player. He’s got plenty of things that would make him a good addition, but there are a few reasons I have a hard time buying into this one.

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First off, before Kadri was even on the Red Wings’ radar (publicly), I had listed him as a player to avoid. I felt that the Red Wings would have been better served to target a veteran forward who was younger than Kadri. The name I used instead of Kadri was Andrew Copp, who the team locked up to a great long-term contract.

For Kadri, there’s going to be a price, on a three-year deal or so, probably more, with an average annual value of $5 million. That’s just my guesstimate for what it will take to bring in Kadri. Looking at the other offseason additions, the Red Wings have already handed out three contracts to forwards who are slated to join the NHL roster.

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The team has 13 players who are slated to be a part of the NHL roster. Adding in Kadri makes things a bit more complicated. This leads me to, again, want to shy away from bringing Kadri to Hockeytown. If the Red Wings bring in Kadri, I would expect more roster moves on the flip side, likely a trade to offload some current players.

While these two players are a little different, I think the Red Wings already have their version of Kadri. The team has Robby Fabbri, who is a less physical version of Kadri. While Fabbri is rehabbing from injury, it just feels like targeting Kadri is worth avoiding.

It’s all rumors. It could have been due diligence on the Red Wings’ part that was misinterpreted in the media. Yzerman will make the right call, that is certain. He’s been steering the ship well through this point in the rebuild; there’s no reason to panic about any of his roster moves. Trust the Yzerplan.

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