It’s looking like Nikita Zadorov is putting pressure on Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche by sitting out the start of training camp.
Nikita Zadorov will not be in camp with the #avs this morning. Contract talks have yet to produce a deal for the RFA defenceman.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 14, 2017
Though it’s been reported that that two sides have been close all summer, Zadorov and the Avs have been able to close the gap in contract negotiations.
Just yesterday, Sakic reiterated that a deal was close and that he expected Zadorov to be in camp today. It looks like Z and his agent are calling the bluff.
Joe Sakic on D Nikita Zadorov (RFA): "We're close enough that he should be here" (Thursday when camp opens).— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) September 13, 2017
With the threat of the KHL lingering, this is a situation that the Avs won’t want to drag out much longer. One of their best defensemen last season, Zadorov is a key piece to the future in Colorado - letting an RFA contract get in the way of that isn’t something Sakic should be doing.
He traveled from Russia to Ottawa earlier this week, so it seems as though there is hope something can get done soon.
When (if) Zadorov eventually signs, it is expected to be in for two years and somewhere in the $2.5m range.