By Allan Muir
They're not there yet, but it sounds like the Maple Leafs and RFA forward Nazem Kadri are finally speaking the same language in their long-running and combative contract talks.
According to Bob MacKenzie, who was speaking on TSN Radio in Toronto this afternoon, the two sides are finally both talking about a two-year bridge contract. Kadri is looking at something around $7 million, while the Leafs are countering with $5.7 million. Still a bit of a gap there, but it's getting closer. And after versatile -- but far less impactful -- Senators forward Colin Greening signed a short-term deal earlier today that averaged $2.65 million per season, it's a good bet that the final number on Kadri's deal will be nearer to the player's position than to Toronto's.
Of course, every dollar Kadri gets out of the approximately $5 million that the Maple Leafs have left to spend under the cap is a dollar less that will be available for the club to sign fellow RFA Cody Franson. The sooner Kadri grabs his share, in other words, the better.
Unless of course this is all a bluff to drive up the bidding in the KHL...