Tuesday October 3, 2023

Kadri Answers Adversity, Critics With 1st Playoff Hat Trick

  • Nazem Kadri recorded career highs in points (87) and assists (59) in the regular season.
  • His $4.5 million 2021-22 cap hit is just eighth on the team.
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On Monday, Nazem Kadri managed to transcend both death threats and his own notorious reputation to propel the Avalanche to a playoff victory.

Kadri scored his first career playoff hat trick and added an assist in Colorado’s 6-3 Game 4 win over St. Louis — which puts the Avs one win from the Western Conference Final.

The 31-year-old received racist threats after a seemingly accidental collision in Game 3 with Blues goalie Jordan Binnington will force the latter to miss the rest of the series. Kadri was also on the receiving end of excessive hits from Blues players in Game 4.

But while his detractors continue to knock him for his physicality, Kadri is proving his value for Colorado not as an agitator, but as a depth scorer.

  • Kadri recorded career highs in points (87) and assists (59) in the regular season.
  • He’s tied for second on the Avs in postseason points (10) with Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen.
  • The Ontario native had previously been suspended three times for postseason offenses, serving 16 games total since 2018 — including eight last year.

In addition to an unlikely scorer, Colorado is also getting a relative bargain — for now.

Still playing on his six-year, $27 million extension with the Maple Leafs before being traded to the Avalanche, his $4.5 million 2021-22 cap hit is just eighth on the team — but he’ll be an unrestricted free agent for the first time this summer.

The career-best production — and a lack of postseason suspensions — will only increase Kadri’s leverage.

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