Nazem Kadri was traded to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday in a deal that sent Tyson Barrie to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"We wanted to get a second-line centerman and we didn't think financially it was going to work down the line by trying to sign Tyson to an extension," Colorado general manager Joe Sakic said. "It's going to cost a lot of money, and we felt it was one of those trades for both teams; they're looking for a right-handed defenseman and we're looking for a second-line center. That's where the deal makes sense for both teams."
Colorado also received defenseman Calle Rosen and a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Toronto got forward Alexander Kerfoot and a sixth-round pick in the 2020 draft.
[RELATED: Zaitsev, Brown traded to Senators by Maple Leafs | 2019-20 NHL Trade Tracker]
Kadri had 44 points (16 goals, 28 assists) in 73 games with the Maple Leafs and two points (one goal, one assist) in two Stanley Cup Playoff games last season. The 28-year-old center has three seasons remaining on a six-year, $27 million contract ($4.5 million average annual value) he signed with Toronto on April 13, 2016.
"He'll be great in the locker room," Sakic said. "He's a great person, his teammates really like him. He's a fierce competitor, and sometimes he gets in trouble with that, but one thing he does is compete. He wants to win, he battles and will do anything for the team. With him, the way he plays, we feel we added a lot of creativeness to our group as well."
Selected by Toronto in the first round (No. 7) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Kadri has 357 points (161 goals, 196 assists) in 561 games and 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 19 NHL playoff games.
Kadri has been suspended four times by the NHL Department of Player Safety, including for what became the final five games of the Eastern Conference First Round, which the Maple Leafs lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games.
Video: TOR@BOS, Gm2: Kadri tips in Dermott's shot
He will likely center a line with Tyson Jost at left wing. Colorado on Monday signed forward Joonas Donskoi to a four-year contract and forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to a two-year contract, and last week traded for forward Andre Burakovsky (Washington Capitals).
"Kadri can play wing as well, so by making this trade we add a lot of depth with our forward group here to match up with the other forward groups around the League," Sakic said.
Barrie, a defenseman who turns 28 on July 26, had an NHL career-high 59 points (14 goals, 45 assists) in 78 games with the Avalanche and eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 12 playoff games last season. He has one season remaining on a four-year, $22 million contract ($5.5 million average annual value) he signed with Colorado on July 31, 2016.
Colorado selected a defenseman with the No. 4 pick in two of the past three NHL Drafts, Cale Makar in the 2017 NHL Draft and Bowen Byram in the 2019 NHL Draft, and also has Samuel Girard, the oldest of the three at 21.
"We knew with Tyson, with what we've got coming with Makar and we have Girard here, and in Byram, that going into [Barrie's] last year we probably wouldn't be able to re-sign him with where the [NHL salary cap is] going," Sakic said. "We just feel it's a position of need. We needed a second-line center."
Selected by Colorado in the third round (No. 64) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Barrie has 307 points (75 goals, 232 assists) in 484 games and 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 21 NHL playoff games.
Toronto earlier Monday traded defenseman Nikita Zaitsev to the Ottawa Senators and lost defenseman Ron Hainsey when he signed a one-year contract with Ottawa.
"We had a need, and from our view as a management team, we owe it to our forward group and [Frederik] Andersen in net to round it out as best we can and put the best possible team on the ice, particularly with defensemen who can move the puck effectively and efficiently to our forward group," Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas said.
Video: COL@SJS, Gm2: Barrie wires shot to top corner
Kerfoot had 42 points (15 goals, 27 assists) in 78 games with the Avalanche last season and had three assists in 12 playoff games. Selected by the New Jersey Devils in the fifth round (No. 150) of the 2012 NHL Draft, he opted not to sign with them and signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Avalanche on Aug. 23, 2017, after four seasons at Harvard.
Kerfoot, who turns 25 on Aug. 11 and is a restricted free agent, has 85 points (34 goals, 51 assists) in 157 games and five points (two goals, three assists) in 18 NHL playoff games.
Rosen has two points (one goal, one assist) in eight games with the Maple Leafs and one goal in four NHL playoff games. The 25-year-old signed with Toronto as an undrafted free agent May 16, 2017.
NHL.com correspondent Rick Sadowski contributed to this report
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