Learn more about Kadri, Mikheyev and Campbell
The recent article about the Toronto Maple Leafs sparked enough interesting discussion that we thought it was worth continuing on these same topics. Accordingly, this article will further discuss these same topics.
Related: Maple Leafs News and Rumors: Kadri, Campbell, Mikheyev and Goodbye
In this article, I will again team up with Stan Smith to expand on those comments that were part of the topic of conversation.
More notes on Nazem Kadri
Nazem Kadri remains a polarizing player. Some fans seem to like it; some, not so much. My regular collaborator Stan Smith added that he thought Kadri had an amazing season and was extremely happy for him. At the time, Kadri was one of Stan’s favorite Maple Leafs players.
Stan specifically remembers a game in 2013 that he was lucky enough to watch in person where Kadri showed what a dominant player he could be. He had a hat trick and added an assist in Ottawa’s 4-0 game against the Senators. However, Stan was surprised that Kadri didn’t show more of that dominance when he was with the Maple Leafs.
Like other Maple Leafs fans, he believed Kadri’s days with the team were numbered once John Tavares signed.
Has Kadri really cleaned up his game?
While the first message noted that Kadri seems to have toned down his digressions, other THW readers disagreed. Readers reminded us that in his first season with Colorado, Kadri was also suspended for the playoffs. This hurt the Avalanche’s chances.
Related: Avalanche’s Kadri Is The Perfect Addition To Their Roster
Readers also listed meeting Jordan Billington of the St. Louis Blues in the second round of the playoffs. Then, already this round, Game 1 saw Kadri wrestle with Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith’s helmet and mask as he skated in addition to removing Smith’s catch glove with his stick in game 2. In other words, some readers commented that I had wrongly noted that Kadri had changed. Others agreed that he did.
Kadri could be overpaid depending on this season’s production
Like Jack Campbell and Ilya Mikheyev in Toronto with the Maple Leafs, Kadri’s play will make it extremely difficult for the Avalanche to re-sign him. However, if he goes the UFA route, chances are another team will overpay for his services.
Kadri scored 87 points in 71 games last season. That pace would have given him 100 points in 82 games and ranked him ninth in NHL league scoring. He followed that up with 14 points in 12 playoff games. Good season, indeed.
Due to this season’s numbers, it’s highly likely that a team would award Kadri a deal based on his recent performances. The big question is whether Kadri can maintain this production?
A look back at Kadri’s figures before 2021-22
Ignoring everything Kadri did with the Maple Leafs and looking only at his contribution as an Avalanche player, in the two seasons leading up to 2021-22, Kadri played in 108 regular season games. In those games, he scored 30 goals and 68 points. That equates to an average of 23 goals and 29 assists (for 52 points) over an 82-game season. That’s pretty close to his career average of 24 goals and 57 points.
Yes, Kadri is having an incredible season. But is its current production sustainable? Is this season an anomaly for Kadri? What are the chances that he can repeat what he has achieved this season? Kadri will turn 32 at the start of next season.
Related: The Rink: A Brief History
In the UFA market, someone will pay a handsome price to acquire Kadri based on his production this season. However, we are not sure if this team will get Kadri this season.
More notes on Ilya Mikheyev
As for Ilya Mikheyev, we think money will play a part in his decision to move on. However, that probably won’t be his only motivation. Mikheyev has scored 21 goals in 53 games this season. That’s a pace of 32 goals in 82 games; or, a player’s production of the top six of the bottom six.
Obviously, Mikheyev feels that way. Rumors swirled that he asked for a trade last offseason because he didn’t like the way he was being used. Although at the time and in response to these rumors, Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe reiterated that Mikheyev was important and would play an important role on the team. Most Maple Leafs fans believed those comments resulted in a top-six game and time on the power play.
It just kind of happened. We can see how, based on his rollout, Mikheyev might see cleaner ice (or greener grass) with another team. He is obviously looking for a place where he would have the chance to play a regular top-six role; and, he probably thinks that would translate into a chance to become a 30-goal scorer and have a bigger payday down the road. He may be right.
He probably won’t have that luck with the Maple Leafs. As a result, it makes sense that he feels his light might shine a little brighter if it wasn’t overshadowed by the Maple Leafs’ elite core of forwards. Since recovering from his badly injured hands, he’s been playing really well. He probably deserves a bigger contract than the Maple Leafs would like him to sign.
More notes on Jack Campbell
As noted in a previous article, reports indicate that the Maple Leafs and Jack Campbell’s agent did not negotiate. This could suggest one of two things. First, maybe the team has already moved on and is considering other options. Second, maybe the team is waiting to see what other offers Campbell might get as UFA, then using those to sit down to negotiate a possible deal.
Related: Can the Maple Leafs Find a Jack Campbell Clone?
We think there could be a new goalie tandem next season with the Maple Leafs. Although Campbell has been good overall with the Maple Leafs, it’s understandable if the team might see him as too frail to be a starter.
As several readers have noted, one of the keys to any negotiation with Maple Leafs goaltenders is finding a way to rid the organization of Petr Mrazek’s $3.8 million salary cap — or the major part. That, and Campbell’s $1.65 million, would give the organization over $5 million to bet on goaltenders who could currently be backups but each have the potential to be starters, hoping that one would work like Campbell.
[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]
The former professor (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for more than 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He is a Canadian boy, who has two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing with his hockey cards and just being a sports fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors and CFL football (he thinks Ricky Ray personifies the way a professional athlete should act).
If you’re wondering why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son – who is also Jim Parsons – wrote for hockey writers first and asked Jim Sr. to use another name so readers don’t confuse their work.
Because Jim Sr. had worked in China, he adopted the Mandarin word for teacher (老師). The first character lǎo (老) means “elder” and the second character shī (師) means “teacher”. The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old master”. It became his pseudonym. Today, apart from writing for hockey writershe teaches research design to graduate students at several Canadian universities.
He looks forward to sharing his thoughts on the Toronto Maple Leafs and how sport more fully engages life. His Twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf