Nazem Kadri begins the next chapter of his career with the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, but of course all anyone wants to talk about is how his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs ended.
Kadri spent his entire career with the Maple Leafs before he was traded to the Avalanche on July 1 alongside Calle Rosen and a 2020 third-round pick in exchange for Tyson Barrie, Alexander Kerfoot and a 2020 sixth-round selection.
The veteran centre revealed that he was close to becoming a member of the Calgary Flames in a package that would’ve netted the Maple Leafs T.J. Brodie, but he nixed the move with the hopes of remaining with the only professional club he’d known at that point.
“I just didn’t really get the impression I was being shopped around and my initial feeling was to stay in Toronto and that’s kind of why that situation panned out the way it did,” Kadri said to Sportsnet’s Eric Francis.
“It was nothing against Calgary. I obviously love that city and love going there as a visiting team. I just had aspirations of staying put.”
Kadri said he was close to accepting the deal to the Flames, but had to consider the decision to relocate his family. Shortly after the rejected Flames trade, Kadri was sent to the Avalanche, much to his chagrin.
“Yes, I was bummed out – I’d be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t,” Kadri said.
“I quickly turned the page. Obviously I have a lot of memories and a lot of things I’ll never forget over there. They treated me well, but now my focus is playing with the Avalanche and doing whatever it takes to win. I really want to be here.”
As fate would have it, Kadri makes his Avalanche debut against the Flames, so there’s a chance the 29-year-old might be wondering what could’ve been during a game pitting two Pacific Division rivals against each other.
More NHL coverage from Yahoo Sports