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NHL News: Nazem Kadri to sign with Calgary Flames, who are not the Islanders

And thus concludes our offseason of “maybe it’s the Isles?”

Colorado Avalanche v Calgary Flames
“Yeah right, dude, that’s not what I saw on Twitter.”
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

In a fantastic bit of maneuvering that came out of left field (NHL media-wise), the highly sought unrestricted free agent Nazem Kadri is reported to be headed to the Calgary Flames on a seven-year deal.

To make room, the Flames are expected to trade Sean Monahan {looks at Capfriendly nervously}.

While we don’t typically post about every major signing around the NHL here, this one is significant to Islanders fans because for much of this summer, the silence around Kadri was suspected to be — even reported by some to almost definitely be — a sign that Kadri would land with the Islanders and Lou Lamoriello, the GM who had him in Toronto but who seems to insist no contracts be filed until the last minute. With no actual news coming, we dutifully and exhaustedly shared just about every half-report to that effect.

Was there strong interest and were the Isles and Kadri ever close? We’ll certainly never know from Lamoriello’s side; Kadri is a bit more forthcoming, however, so he may let slip or at least hint about other teams he considered.

Regardless, what a summer for the Flames, who had to deal with the one-two punch of both Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk taking exit ramps from the franchise. Backed into a considerable corner, they’ve replaced them with Jonathan Huberdeau and Kadri, while adding a pretty good defenseman in MacKenzie Weegar.

And top it all off, amid the cone of silence and secrecy that Lamoriello has made his trademark, Brad Treliving swoops in (or maybe he was there all along?) to take the prize.

What’s Next for the Islanders?

For the Islanders though...nothing? Truly, still nothing?

In essence, nothing has changed today, because nothing has been announced from Long Island, so everything is “as you were” like it’s been all offseason. We don’t know how Lamoriello intends to improve last season’s non-playoff team. We’ve heard extensions are agreed to with Noah Dobson and Kieffer Bellows, possibly others. If they were close on Kadri, it makes sense that they had to wait it out in case corresponding moves were required, like the Flames are now doing with Monahan.

Personally, this is a highly entertaining outcome because I was indifferent on Kadri as a fit for the Isles. Good player, but likely high asking price that may not age well on a team that already has term committed to guys in their 30s. And center is not the area of greatest need by a long shot.

But the temptation to improve by adding quality players (even at positions where you’re already deep) is understandable. So had the Isles managed to land Kadri, I’d be interested to see how they moved the pieces around, but I’d be crossing my fingers that his contract aged well and worried about what corresponding moves were in store.

What I’m saying is Kadri was like being asked to go to a blockbuster movie you’re not so sure about: Very likely to have some fun, but also possibly going to regret that was your choice to spend the next three hours and whatever money it costs to see a film in a theater these days.

So as it stands, for me: The Flames signed Kadri? Ain’t that something. Glad that one’s over.

But for everyone else among Islanders fans, mileage may vary. It seemed some really thought he’d be a great addition, some thought he’s not at all what they need, and some just wanted something to happen to show that Lou does have some sort of plan.

Today, with this fall’s roster still cloudy, probably all of us have at least a foot in that last camp.