Alex Kerfoot, Colorado Avalanche, Nazem Kadri, News, Top Story, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tyson Barrie

Maple Leafs Trade Kadri to Avalanche for Barrie, Kerfoot

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen and their third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Tyson Barrie, Alex Kerfoot and a sixth-round pick in the 2020 Draft. The Avalanche are also retaining 50 percent of Barrie’s $5.5 million cap hit.

For the Maple Leafs, this deal makes a lot of sense. They’ll be addressing their biggest need at right-shot defender by acquiring one of the premier offensive defenders in the NHL in Barrie. Scoring 14 goals in each of the last two seasons as well as double-digit goals in five of the last six seasons, Barrie is also proficient as a playmaker having recorded 41, 46, 41, 43 and 45 assists in the last five seasons respectively.

Getting him on the team for only $2.75 million for the 2019-20 season is a significant upgrade for the Maple Leafs.

On paper, losing a former 30-goal scorer in Kadri who’s signed to a team-friendly cap hit of only $4.5 million for each of the next three seasons may seem like a drawback for the Maple Leafs. In reality, though, the team is getting a third-year player who’s already scored over 15 goals and 42 points in each of his first two seasons in the NHL as a member of the Avalanche in Kerfoot.

Avalanche center Alexander Kerfoot
Avalanche center Alexander Kerfoot has been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

The 24-year-old center should immediately slot into Kadri’s old role on the Maple Leafs’ third line and his new contract shouldn’t be anything too restrictive for a Maple Leafs team that needs salary cap space right now. The team will have to figure out a new deal for Kerfoot this offseason, though, as he is a restricted free agent.

The Maple Leafs will look to use any and all free cap space they have on a new deal for their most important restricted free agent in Mitch Marner who could be subject to an offer sheet if the Maple Leafs don’t figure something out. While that threat may seem like more of a myth than reality, the Montreal Canadiens proved that offer sheets do exist, signing Sebastian Aho to the first of its kind since 2013.

Avalanche Getting a Proven Goal-Scorer

For the Avalanche, this deal gets them a veteran in Kadri who could probably return to form with them next season after taking a step back in 2018-19. In Kadri’s defense, he scored 32 goals in each of the previous two seasons he played in with the Maple Leafs while skating in a top-six role before being relegated to the third line.

Nazem Kadri Maple Leafs
Nazem Kadri has been traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Colorado Avalanche, Dec. 12, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This “demotion” wasn’t Kadri’s fault, but more a byproduct of the Maple Leafs signing John Tavares last season. He would still score 16 goals and 44 points despite his decreased role with the club.

Kadri should immediately slot onto the team’s second line and could be playing alongside Andre Burakovsky and Tyson Jost from the get-go in Colorado. Another option for the team’s top-six alongside Kadri could be Joonas Donskoi who was also signed this offseason by Colorado.

The Avalanche also acquired Rosen from the Maple Leafs. The 6-foot-1 defender scored seven goals and 46 points in 54 games with the Toronto Marlies last season. He’s only played in eight NHL games to date, scoring one goal and two points in the process, but there’s still time to grow at only 25 years old.

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