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Ring In The New Season: Kadri Set for Battle Versus NHL’s Best



Nazem Kadri, NHL, Calgary Flames
Steve Macfarlane, CHN

New Calgary Flames centre Nazem Kadri is tying up all the loose ends quickly.

He got to watch the pre-game celebration as his former team, the Colorado Avalanche, raised their Stanley Cup banner to the rafters in Denver on Wednesday.

Less than 24 hours later, he’s set to face them at the Saddledome, his new home in Calgary.

But before that battle began, there was one more thing for him to do as a Cup winner with the Avs. Put on the championship ring.

“I’ve talked to the guys about it. They’ve been sending me videos and pictures of it, and of the ceremony as well,” said Kadri, who left the group chat in style this summer after signing with the Calgary Flames.

“I just felt like a little kid. I was giddy, excited. They look fantastic. I think they did a great job with them. I’ve seen a lot of angles, so they look pretty sweet. It’s something we earned and it’s something I can’t wait to get my hands on.”

Kadri might say the same things about his former teammates.

The Avalanche players can expect to see a lot of the aggressive centre in their faces in the Flames season opener. Kadri thrives on competition, and facing the team he won the Cup with just a few months ago to start his season couldn’t have been better if he planned it that way.

He swears he didn’t.

“It seems like the story keeps getting better and better somehow,” said Kadri. “Obviously, we didn’t plan that. I looked at the schedule after I signed with Calgary and saw that first matchup, so it was a bit ironic. But at the end of the day, it’s kind of nice to get it over and done with and try to get two points.”

To get the points, they Calgary Flames will have to shut down Nathan MacKinnon. And a supporting cast that is still offensively gifted despite the loss of Kadri.

“I love it. As a player, I want to I want to play against the best. I want to play with the best and I think brings the best out of me. So I embrace that,” Kadri said, jokingly suggesting he knows the secret to stifling MacKinnon.

“For the last few years, I’ve been going head to head with him in practice and it’s not easy. He’s a great player. He’s certainly a hard competitor, too, and wants the win more than anything. I’ve got nothing but great things to say about that guy and that team. It’s going to be a chore, but we can do it.”

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