Kevin Weekes shocked the NHL world when he reported that Calgary Flames defenseman, Nikita Zadorov, requested a trade from the organization. The report came as Zadorov was in a tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Adding coal to the fire was Zadorov’s agent, Dan Milstein. Milstein initially stirred the pot by stating the 6-foot-6 defenseman is likely done in Calgary as a result of diminishing ice time.
On Saturday, a source close to the situation told New Jersey Hockey Now that Zadorov would welcome a trade to the New Jersey Devils.
According to a report by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the interest is mutual. The TSN insider explained the Devils are one of a few teams with strong interest in the 248 lb, Moscow, Russian defenseman.
(Toronto), (Vancouver), and (the Devils) are the clubs with strong interest in Zadorov,” Dreger tweeted on Saturday. “Tanev, a solid right-shot defenseman is a huge draw and, of course, Noah Hanifin. The Flames are in no hurry to sell assets. If a team steps up in a big way, everything has to be considered. I’m not sensing urgency from (Calgary).”
There’s a popular sense that Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald fleeced Flames GM Craig Conroy in the Tyler Toffoli and Yegor Sharangovich swap. Thus far, it’s certainly worked out in New Jersey’s favor.
It certainly appears Conroy is trying to avoid that from happening again. After Calgary’s rocky start, Conroy appears to be practicing patience in an effort to retrieve a formidable return on his assets.
However, Pierre LeBrun reports that Zadorov is looking for a “quick resolution” to the submitted trade request.
The Devils absolutely could use blue-line help. With each passing day, it becomes a little easier for New Jersey to make that move, too, as they accrue more cap space. As of Sunday, the Devils have $1,208,490 in current cap space, according to Puckpedia.
Perhaps Calgary is willing to retain dollars on Zadorov’s $3.75 million cap hit in the last year of his contract. That could help speed up the process. For New Jersey, defensive help is a welcomed necessity sooner rather than later. Fitzgerald and Conroy have connected on a deal before. We’ll see if they can do it again.