One of the biggest NHL news this weekend was regarding Nikita Zadorov and his future with the Calgary Flames.
The Russian defenseman informed, through his agent, that he would like to be traded away from the Flames, apparently fed up with how the Flames are standing still at the moment.
The Flames’ last few seasons have been a disappointment, and star players like Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri have not reached the heights they did in former teams.
Zadorov, a 6’6, 235lb gigant, brings a huge physical presence to a team, and most teams in the NHL are looking for his style of play. So, if the Flames were to trade him, it wouldn’t be short of interest around the league.
According to TSN insider Darren Dreger, Zadorov is linked with the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, and the Vancouver Canucks, all three Stanley Cup contenders.
”Well look, again, he’s an attractive piece for Toronto, Vancouver, I know the New Jersey have expressed some interest, because of what we can see. He’s enormous, he’s a very physical defenseman,” Dreger said.
And it doesn’t just seem to be experts and analysts that think Zadorov and Maple Leafs are a great fit. It just so happens that the Maple Leafs played the Flames and Zadorov this past Friday.
Zadorov saw his opportunity to showcase some of the things he’s great at, and he laid a huge hit on Tyler Bertuzzi. The hit had one Toronto player even come up to Zadorov with an unexpected saying.
“Zadorov plays under 16 minutes on Friday night and they lose to Toronto. He delivers a HUGE hit on Bertuzzi. The word going around on Sunday night is that a Maple Leafs player said to Zadorov on the ice, ‘You’re EXACTLY what we need,’” Elliotte Friedman said in his 32 Thoughts.
Friedman wouldn’t say who the Toronto player was, but reports on social media claim it could’ve been Max Domi. And if it was, he’s not wrong. Zadorov and the Maple Leafs would be a great fit.