Leafs Trade Kadri to Avalanche for Barrie
The Toronto Maple Leafs trade center Nazem Kadri, defenseman Calle Rosen, and their third-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Tyson Barrie, forward Alex Kerfoot, and a sixth-round pick in 2020. The Avalanche also retain 50 percent of Barrie’s $5.5-million salary-cap hit for 2019-20.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With this deal, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas frees up more salary-cap room to re-sign Mitch Marner while adding a top-pairing right-side defenseman. Barrie’s offensive skills should make him a good fit, especially on the Leafs’ power play.
Cap Friendly indicates this move leaves the Leafs with over $11 million in salary-cap space for this season. That will shrink once other restricted free agents like Kerfoot and Cody Ceci are re-signed. Still, freeing up Kadri’s $4.5-million cap hit and only taking on $2.75-million of Barrie’s cap hit provides more wiggle room for Marner than they had a week ago. Placing Nathan Horton ($5.3 million) on long-term injury reserve will also help. Perhaps another cost-cutting move is ahead but it likely won’t be as significant as this one.
This is the second move Dubas made to bolster the right side of his defense. Earlier today, he completed a multi-player deal with the Ottawa Senators by swapping out Nikita Zaitsev for Cody Ceci. Barrie and Ceci should be a big improvement for Toronto’s blueline. The pair are also due to become free agents next summer. How they fare this season will determine if longer tenure is in their future.
Trading away Kadri will affect their depth at center beyond the top two lines. Kerfoot could go into the third-line spot while recently signed Jason Spezza will take the fourth-line position.
Avalanche GM Joe Sakic has been very busy bolstering his forward depth. He recently acquired winger Andre Burakovsky from Washington and signed Joonas Donskoi and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare via free agency today.
Kadri will likely replace center Carl Soderberg, who was shipped to Arizona last week for blueliner Kevin Connauton. While his temper can get him into penalty trouble, he’s a gritty two-way center with two recent 32-goal seasons on his resume. Kadri will bring an extra measure of skill and energy to the Avs’ forward lines.
By trading Barrie, the Avs are now lacking an experienced mobile defenseman. With promising Cale Makar cracking the lineup during this year’s playoffs, it’s a move Sakic was comfortable with. Barrie is also slated to become a UFA next summer. Given the promising rearguards (Makar, Samuel Girard) on the roster and in their system (Bowen Byram, Conor Timmins), the Avs could have a very deep blueline soon.
The Avs GM also has over $27 million in salary-cap space. He could add another defenseman. However, that cap space is likely reserved for restricted free agents like Burakovsky, Mikko Rantanen, and Nikita Zadorov.