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Leafs among teams interested in Nikita Zadorov

It’s decision time for the Calgary Flames.

Will they make a fire sale soon, or will they rely on their squad to get back on track? After all, Calgary has a 4-7-2 record, with only the (disappointing) Oilers and Sharks doing worse in their division.

Team GM Craig Conroy is in no hurry to sell his players, however. That’s what Darren Dreger told us. But he’s going to have to make a decision soon, because many of his players will be free agents at the end of the season. This is particularly true of Nikita Zadorov, who requested a trade last night.

In addition to Zadorov, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, Oliver Kylington (injured), Nick DeSimone and Dennis Gilbert are also defensemen without contracts for the 2024-2025 season. Rasmus Andersson and MacKenzie Weegar are the only ones on the 23-player roster with a pact in their pocket…

It’s reminiscent of the Washington Capitals’ situation at the start of last season.

(Credit: Cap Friendly)

In Zadorov’s case, he won’t be signing a new contract. He should/could be traded before the trade deadline. In fact, like his teammates Hanifin and Tanev, he is attracting interest from all four corners of the NHL.

The Maple Leafs, Canucks and Devils are all very interested in the giant-sized defenseman.

If Zadorov were worth only one draft pick, a trade would have already been made. Indeed, Conroy seems greedy (and rightly so).

The 28-year-old left-hander will, as mentioned earlier, become a UFA at the end of the season. In 12 games this year, he’s collected five points, which isn’t bad for a guy who’s known for his physical play and defensive contribution. A team like the Leafs, who are looking for a bit of defense, is the perfect destination for Zadorov. In fact, he was acquired from Calgary in 2021 by current Toronto GM Brad Treliving. There are connections to be made in all this, so…

As mentioned in this TVA Sports article, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of Noah Hanifin ($4.95 M) and Chris Tanev ($4.5 M) changing addresses either. For what they bring to a team, both backs have pretty team-friendly contracts. The same goes for Zadorov, for that matter.

In short, Conroy, in his first full year as general manager, has his work cut out for him. It’s an important year in Alberta.

In bursts

– The Alouettes are minutes away from a Grey Cup appearance.

– Samuel Montembeault is in a comic strip.

– Montreal isn’t the only team with goalies on the market.

– Cole Caufield loves his coach’s way of teaching. [RDS]

– The Carabins are champions.

– Bravo to the Canadian quartet.

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