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Avalanche Forward's Competitiveness Nazem Kadori has turned him into a popular product

Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri skates with the puck during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Colorado Avalanche Forward Nazemka Play Tampa Bay Lightning and skate in packs in Game 5 of the Dristanley Cup Finals. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Tampa — A couch potato that once lost its shape It's not surprising that he came out of the other end and eventually became the player Toronto Maple Leafs always wanted, when compared to "like a really terrible drug addict."

Even if it took more than 10 years to happen,

"I thought it was important to play a long game with Naz," he said. Dallas Eakins, an Anaheim Ducks bench boss who coached Kadori for the first three years as an adult, said. "There was something we liked, but there was a bad habit he had to break. I really loved the kid. He was one of the kids I'm still in contact with.

"I was still laughing at the camp when he said he wasn't in the best condition. I didn't mean to lie. But everyone is crazy. I'm laughing at it now. I knew he was trying to get it done. He's as competitive as you get. For me, it's you It's the most important thing you need. "

Its competitiveness is fully demonstrated in these playoffs.

In the second round, a concentration of racist online comments to record a hat-trick in Game 4 after Kadori injured St. Louis Bruce goalkeeper Jordan Binnington in the previous game. I saw it when I played gunfire. And I saw it again in the Stanley Cup final when Kadori quickly returned from his broken thumb and won the overtime winner against Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4.

For Ekins, it's always a characteristic of Kadori. But at first it had to be teased from time to time.

"I wasn't worried," he said, whether Kadori would realize his potential as a seventh overall pick. "As a coach, I'm worried about whether there's pushbacks, habits that don't change, or if the kid doesn't have a real passion for the game. There were some ups and downs, but his playing at the NHL Passion was off the charts. "

Therefore, the 31-year-old mature Kadori will have a huge payday as an unlimited free agent this summer. It comes after the breakout season when Kadri scored 28 goals and 87 points in 71 games. But it happened during the playoffs, and Kadori finally got out of trouble and put it all together.

"If you want to disassemble him, he's a gamer. He's really a gamer," Ekins said. "When the lights are on and they are singing the national anthem, it's time for him. He may not be the fastest or the most skilled, but when it comes to being the most competitive. , He will be in the top two or three. "

As Ekins pointed out, bigger names and more skilled players such as Philip Foshberg, Evgeni Malkin and Claude Giroud headed to the market. It may be. However, nothing brings to the table the number of intangible assets that Kadori has in the ever-growing arsenal. He is a shift obstructor. Motor mouse. But he is also a player who has the knack for creating big moments.

"If his team is having a tough night, you just know he's trying to do something to awaken you," Ekins said. "That's a big deal for Naz. You can sit here and talk about everything you need about skill setting, skating, hockey cleverness, and analysis. Everyone is looking for something difficult to measure. To truly understand his competitiveness, you need to look at it. "

A blend of skill and groaning makes Kadori another Blood Marchan. Looks like you can — a player who spent the first decade of his career as a part-time pest and inconsistent top-6 forward, but his potential as someone everyone wants on the team. I'm realizing sex now.

"As I said before, Naz is a gamer," said Colorado teammate Andrew Coriano. "He's the guy you're in your room in this situation and you want for your team."

"This year's Naz is characterized by the consistency of his play. "It's competitive," said Jared Bednar, head coach of Avalanche. "You match it with his skills and his ability to create attack and scoring goals and still be a solid defender, and that's what he brings to our team. Tell me. That's just a little bit of everything. "

Well, that's not all. Kadri, who was traded out of Toronto in 2019, was considered responsible for the playoffs after the first round suspension for the second consecutive year, allowing him to straddle the line between the physical and the stupid. ..

After all, his overtime goal he scored in Game 4 wasn't without Kadori's usual sense of controversy.

"I shouted to his wife,'Where did he come from?'" Ekins said.

It was a daring deck, along with a round of defense Mikhail Sergachev before tricking Andrey Vasilevsky with a shot buried in the net. To win.

"It's a brave play," Ekins said. "Many people in the league stand up with the pack and wait for the next wave or take it behind the net. Not a naz. He cut the middle and worked hard. He decided. There is a difference between what you want and what you really want. "

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