The first day of the NHL's free agency period was extraordinarily hectic, and just as things looked to be settling down, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche swung a massive trade that was headlined by forward Nazem Kadri and defenseman Tyson Barrie.
The Leafs have acquired Barrier, Alex Kerfoot and a future sixth-round pick in exchange for Kadri, Calle Rosen and a 2020 third rounder.
This is a massive win for the Leafs, who not only get the upgrade that they have been in desperate need of for some time, but they also rid themselves of Kadri and his disciplinary history that has cost them back-to-back first rounds in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Kadri has been suspended each of the last two years in the playoffs, once for boarding Tommy Wingels and the second time for cross-checking Jake DeBrusk, both of whom were members of the Boston Bruins. His lack of control hurt the team's chances at advancing past the opening round each year.
The Leafs had to pay Kadri a $2 million dollar bonus before moving him, but now they are off the hook for the remaining $2.5 million he is owed this season. In addition, the Leafs added a high-caliber defenseman in Barrie (14 goals, 45 assists) while only having to pay $3 million of the $6 million he is owed.
This trade is a huge victory for Toronto, who also managed to acquire Kerfoot (15 goals, 27 assists) in the deal, a player who can be impactful in their bottom-six. Ridding themselves of the nuisance that is Kadri, while adding two solid players means GM Kyle Dubas swindled the Avalanche in this deal.