Former Leaf looks to redeem himself in playoffs in a contract year

Published April 28, 2022 at 3:30 PM
BY RYAN SMITHERAM
Up until the 2019 playoffs, Nazem Kadri had almost been suspended for more playoff games than he had played (8 suspended, 10 played). That season he managed to play in 15 games for the Avs during their playoff run and seemed to have finally figured out how to play on the line without crossing it. Unfortunately, old Kadri returned during game 2 of last years playoffs where he was suspended for 8 games for an illegal check to the head of Justin Faulk during the Avs first round matchup against the Blues.

Twice in his tenure with the Leafs, Kadri found himself watching from the press box as the Leafs were eliminated by Boston both times. The first was in 2018 where he was suspended for 3 games for boarding Tommy Wingels and the second was the following year almost to the day that saw him suspended 5 games for cross checking Jake DeBrusk.

The playoffs have not been kind the Kadri as he has always been a player that plays on the edge. Typically in playoffs that's where those types of players thrive. In Kadri's case though, the playoffs get the better of him and his emotions to the point where it has almost become a guarantee he gets suspended at least once at some point. Hopefully this year is different for him.

Coming off of a dynamite season where he put up a career high 85 points, this playoffs could not be more important for Kadri. He's in the final year of a 5 year deal that he signed with the Leafs before he was traded to the Avs for Barrie and Kerfoot to alleviate some cap constraints the Leafs were facing.


The Avs are looking to make good on previous playoff disappointments this year just like the Leafs and having Kadri at his best and not sitting in the press box is imperative for them to go on a long run. Also, continuing his outstanding play from the regular season will help Kadri get his "one big contract" in free agency this summer.
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