Nazem Kadri looking forward to fresh start with Calgary Flames in 2023-24 season
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
The 2022-23 season wasn’t exactly a banner year for many players on the Calgary Flames roster, and that includes two of the forwards that former general manager Brad Treliving signed to long-term deals: Jonathan Huberdeau and, the subject of this piece, Nazem Kadri.
Kadri’s numbers weren’t awful last season, but it was clear that he struggled with former head coach Darryl Sutter just like plenty of other players did. However, he’s looking forward to the upcoming season and made it known in an interview with Ryan Dittrick of CalgaryFlames.com.
“There’s a ton of excitement,” Kadri said, echoing how many in the locker room are feeling nowadays. “It’s a re-energizing feeling anytime you make any sort of coaching or management change. But when you look at what (Flames GM Craig Conroy) has built, we’ve got a coaching staff that is going to have us playing a different way and, in my opinion, more to our style.”
The changes that are being made and have been made already are clearly allowing players to feel more free with the way they are going to play next season. Kadri made some comments about the newest Flames head coach and why he’s an exciting hire for the future.
“When I look at a guy like (Head Coach Ryan) Huska, first and foremost, he cares about winning. He’s a really competitive guy,” Kadri said. “In talking to him several times over the last few months, I have a really good idea of how he wants us to play and what he expects out of us. He’s a guy that communicates well, too, and I think that’s going to be great for our team. It’s what we need.”
There’s plenty to look forward to for the 2023-24 season on the ice, from the potential for a resurgence by two of the highest-paid players on the roster to the young players that will likely get their shot to prove themselves in the NHL consistently, but it’s off the ice where everything truly comes full circle for Kadri.
“I love the city. I love it. It’s got such great people, great fans. They’re passionate, and that’s what you want as a player,” he said. “In a Canadian market – and with the new arena coming – I don’t think there’s a better option. I’m completely committed to this organization, this franchise, and trying to improve us on the ice, so we can get to where we want to go. And honestly? I think this off-season has been a blessing in disguise to get our heads and our bodies right, so come back full force in the fall.”
It’s evident that Kadri wants to be in Calgary, and he wants to be one of the reasons why the Flames are able to turn the ship in the right direction. He knew that he wasn’t good enough last season, and from everything he has said, he wants to be in Calgary, and he wants to prove to the fanbase that he’s someone worth rooting for. That’s the kind of player you want your young players to follow.
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