Like most of the hockey world, new Calgary Flames forward Nazem Kadri saw former teammates Cale Makar and Logan O’Connor parade the Stanley Cup down the Bow River last week.
At the time, Kadri was playing the waiting game on his seven-year, $49-million contract. Flames GM Brad Treliving was simultaneously working on moving Sean Monahan (and his $6.235M cap hit) out in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens.
Now Kadri dreams of doing the same – but in celebration of a Calgary Flames Cup victory rather than the Colorado Avalanche.
Both Calgary products, Makar and O’Connor were among those talking up their city to Kadri.
“They were raving about Calgary at every opportunity. And rightfully so,” Kadri said via Zoom from France on Friday.
“It’s a great community and they’re both great people. That’s how I know the city of Calgary is full of great people. Passionate people. Because I see that in their personalities.”
Winning the Cup together last season was an experience they’ll never forget. They’re bonded for life. But that friendship will quickly be forgotten with the Avalanche coming to the Saddledome on Oct. 13 for the Flames season opener.
In the meantime, Makar has offered to be his tour guide.
“Cale messaged me right after I signed, wished me the best and asked if I needed any advice on anything in the city,” Kadri said of the Conn Smythe winner.
Makar was a dominant force in the playoffs, finishing with the third most points in the post-season with 29. That was tops among defencemen, as were his eight goals. The Calgary Flames don’t have a player on the back end of his calibre. But they boast tremendous depth and youth at the position.
Kadri is hopeful the depth on defence and his centre position can help the Flames start their season off with a victory over the team he helped win it all just a couple months ago.
“Obviously, he’s a great friend of mine. He’s excited about coming for the home-opener as well,” Kadri said. “So hopefully we can get it done that night.”