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Kadri doesn't want to hold out from Maple Leafs camp

Wednesday, 09.04.2013 / 8:45 PM / News


Restricted free agent forward Nazem Kadri said Wednesday he does not want to miss the start of Toronto Maple Leafs training camp next week but could if he remains without a contract.

Asked if he is willing to hold out, Kadri told TSN, "I mean, if that's what it takes; I don't want to, that's for sure.

"I want to be here come training camp, and I want to be here with all the guys. That's part of getting prepared for the season, is going through training camp and getting a hold of all the systems again. And obviously that's something I don't want to miss out on."

Kadri reportedly is seeking a long-term contract, and the Maple Leafs reportedly would prefer a shorter, bridge-type deal, but Kadri, 22, said he would not disclose what's being asked for and offered.

"I just want something that's fair, that's all," Kadri said. "And I think I'm being pretty fair as well. I'm done worrying about that sort of thing and I'm just going to let it play out and just try and worry about getting myself ready."

Kadri took part in an informal skate with Toronto teammates Wednesday.

"Really, it doesn't bother me too too much," Kadri said of his status. "But ... it always is in the back of your head, but the sooner it gets done obviously the better."

Restricted free agent defenseman Cody Franson also needs a contract and echoed Kadri's desire to be on hand for training camp, which begins Sept. 9.

"I don't want to miss camp, obviously," Franson told TSN. "That's when you get used to playing with the new guys and getting back into the swing of things with the guys that were here last year.

"Ideally nobody wants to miss camp, but we'll see how it goes."

Franson also took part in the skate Wednesday.

"It's not frustrating; I mean it's part of the business," Franson said. "That's just the way it goes sometimes. Hopefully it all gets worked out before camp. I'm down here preparing as if nothing is wrong, so hopefully it goes well. It's not frustrating, it's just time-consuming."

The Maple Leafs said Tuesday that Kadri and Franson would not participate in training camp if they remain unsigned.

"They've been issued training-camp invitations," Maple Leafs vice president of hockey operations Dave Poulin said, according to the Toronto Star. "If they're not signed by the start of camp, obviously they won't be at camp. From that point on, we're not talking about it. We won't talk about players who aren't at camp, only players who are at camp."

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the OT winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round