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Monday, January 24, 2022

Chambers: Nazem Kadri deserves All-Star nomination and contract extension

Being an NHL All-Star is no longer what it used to be. Today’s brilliant 3v3 format between four divisions is more interesting than the usual 5v5 without a check in the past. But if Nazem Kadri isn’t representing Avalanche in next month’s Winter Classic, something is wrong.

Kadri, the ABC second-line center, led the team on Friday with 48 points in 30 games and led the league with 35 assists. He plays in the No. 1 powerplay and penalty shootout for the team that leads the Western Conference in winning percentage (.712) and is guaranteed a first All-Star appearance. But the All-Star Game no longer caters to second-tier players having good seasons.

In the current 3v3 mini-tournament, each of the four divisions can only host 11 players – six attackers, three defenders and two goalkeepers. Each team must have one representative, which means the top teams will have no more than two when the first 10 names from each division are announced.

The NHL’s Department of Hockey Operations selected center Nathan McKinnon and defenseman Cale Makar as the Colorado’s two representatives and gave Kadri the chance to be the “last man” in a fan vote.

McKinnon, named captain of the Central Division for the third time in a row, and Makar, who leads all defensemen in the NHL with 16 goals, deserve it. But it had to be Kadri and Makar. McKinnon was there, did it. He scored many points for the league’s highest scoring team but missed 10 games.

If Kadri doesn’t win “last man” in the fan vote – which may not be due to his bad boy reputation – something is wrong.

“It’s stupid. I don’t think every team should send a guy,” McKinnon said of Qadri’s snub on Friday. “This is an All-Star game, not a game of participation.”

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“Obviously it’s an honor for me,” Qadri said before the preliminary lineups were released on Thursday. “There are so many great players in this league, even on our team. Becoming a star is certainly a great achievement.”

Ranked second in the league in points per game (1.60), Kadri is close to surpassing his record of 32 goals and 61 points in 2016-17 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 30 games, he has already eclipsed the goals, assists and points from 56 games last season.

What changed?

“I’m not sure man, I don’t know what turned out. I try to approach every game the same and sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t,” he said. “I was lucky to play with a great team and great teammates who give me the opportunity to do what I can do. I’m just trying to show what I can do. I don’t think you can really look too far into the future. You have to go through game after game, and you know, just take one step at a time.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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