Nikita Zadorov, who’s requested a trade from Calgary, is a physical defence-first blueliner who’s an above-average skater. Throws a lot of hits but his playstyle does land him in the box pretty frequently. #Flames pic.twitter.com/2OxuPUkduB
– JFresh (@JFreshHockey) November 11, 2023
It’s even worse if we look solely at the two Alberta teams.
And as for the Calgary Flames , well, things aren’t much better.
The team has just four wins in 13 games so far this season, and the club’s top players aren’t performing.
In short, the Flames haven’t gone out in a blaze of glory – quite the opposite, in fact – and this is starting to have a major impact on the fans, but also on the Flames’ players, who are clearly less and less inclined to stay in Calgary.
**Breaking News **
Fresh off a goal and big hit tonight against the @MapleLeafs, I’m told that D Zadorov through his agent @GoldStarHockey Dan Milstein has requested a trade from the @NHLFlames. #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/TRZqwcgyd5
– Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) November 11, 2023
That’s what Kevin Weekes reported after the Flames’ shootout loss to the Maple Leafs.
The 28-year-old Russian defenseman would like to leave Calgary now, even though he’s a free agent at the end of the season.
This greatly amplifies the transaction rumours surrounding these players, given that the Flames won’t want to lose them for nothing if they can’t agree on contract extensions.
Anyway, to get back to Zadorov, he’s the only one of the four who has reportedly (so far) announced that he wants to be traded.
Naturally, Kevin Weekes’ announcement set social networks ablaze.
Zadorov is a very physical, tough defenseman who’s not afraid of anything, and he’s also very solid defensively.
And of course, when it comes to rugged, defensive defensemen, it’s the Toronto Maple Leafs.
With Nikita Zadorov looking to be traded out of Calgary, word is the pending UFA defenseman would welcome a move to Toronto.
– Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 11, 2023
This simple sequence from yesterday’s game is enough to demonstrate just how softs the Leafs are.
Zadorov tackles Tyler Bertuzzi hard, and then stands there waiting for some kind of reply or some kind of player to come to Bertuzzi’s defense.
Lol Zadorov just stood there and waited for someone to challenge him. He got love taps instead. But don’t worry, I’m sure Reaves will say something intimidating post game. https://t.co/TEJZHmgW9K
– Nux4life (@canucks0709) November 11, 2023
The problem for the Leafs is payroll. They have no room under the salary cap, so they’ll have to part with some salary if they want to acquire Zadorov and his $3.75M for this season.
It’s an issue to keep an eye on.
In short, Zadorov isn’t the defenseman who will fill the opposing net (his best season is 22 points), but he’s a defenseman with great utility.
If he’s really asked to be traded, you can be sure there’ll be a huge bidding war.
If you don’t believe me, just type the keyword Zadorov on Twitter (or X if you prefer), and you’ll see the number of fans from different teams who want to see the Russian defenseman join their team.
– Zadorov wouldn’t go to Winnipeg. #NobodyIsSurprised
Word out of Calgary is that Nikita Zadorov does not have much interest in Winnipeg.@TheHockeyNews has learned Toronto would be the Canadian city of choice.
The 28-year-old is in the final season of his two-year contract, carrying a $3.75 million cap hit.
“He likes the beach.
– Carter Brooks (@CBrooksie84) November 11, 2023
– Zadorov scored his first goal of the season yesterday against the Leafs.
Nikita Zadorov rips a shot past Joseph Woll!
It’s a two goal game. 4-2 Toronto pic.twitter.com/9L4EMuOpqM
– Robert Munnich (@RingOfFireCGY) November 11, 2023
– Big decisions ahead for the St. Louis Blues.
– Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) November 11, 2023
Canadian double at the Chinese Grand Prix https://t.co/lEu96bjiaO
– Radio-Canada Sports (@RC_Sports) November 11, 2023
– To be continued.