The Colorado Avalanche should move on from trying to re-sign Nazem Kadri.
The past few weeks have been fun for Colorado Avalanche fans as we’ve feverishly refreshed Twitter and Instagram to see all of the players enjoying their day with the Stanley Cup. We’ve watched Jack Johnson’s kids eat ice cream sundaes from the greatest trophy in all sports, Gabriel Landeskog proves he’s never letting it out of sight (even while using the restroom), and Coach Bednar takes the Cup golfing for charity for a day. While the summer of Cup adventures has kept us entertained, we’ve also been silently watching, waiting, and commiserating about where Nazem Kadri may be going or if he might even return to the Colorado Avalanche.
I’m here to tell you that maybe it’s time to stop expecting him to be a part of the next Avs show.
Over the last few weeks, fans of the Colorado Avalanche have done everything they could to lobby for the Avs to re-sign Nazem Kadri. There have been debates about trading vital defensive players (*ahem* Sam Girard), and even getting rid of the guy that’s slotted to take Naz’s spot (JT Compher/Alex Newhook).
We’ve done just about everything short of leaving roses on Joe Sakic and Chris MacFarland’s stairs in hopes of getting a deal done that lets the Kadri man stay in Colorado. I understand the sentiment. The argument can be made that without Naz having the season of his career, the Colorado Avalanche don’t have the top spot in the Western Conference playoffs. Without his electric performance against St. Louis or his triumphant return against Tampa Bay in the finals, the Avs might not have even hosted a parade through the streets of Denver.
But it’s been weeks and now the rumors are swirling that Naz is leaving, and we need to let him go. The truth is that while he’s an impact player, he’s an aging impact player that the Avs front office can’t afford to pay or anchor themselves with. He’s still going to command at least a $6 million to $7 million salary for likely the next four years. The Avs simply can’t afford to pay that out, especially when they need to be thinking about leaving money bags by Nathan MacKinnon’s stairs and finalizing a much-deserved contract extension.
Sure, it would have been great for the Colorado Avalanche to work out something and be a thrill again with Kadri, but the truth is all of the small things were never getting this deal done. He wasn’t ever taking a discount. That’s okay, he’s earned a payday, but the championship window for the Colorado Avalanche is not closing if Naz sets out for the next rock show.
There’s too much risk in blowing up the core now when there’s still talent on this team or sitting unsigned that could at least fill a role at a much lower risk and cost. What we had with Nazem Kadri was special, but fans of the Avalanche finally need to accept that it’s time to turn the lights off and let him find a new home.