4 star forwards the Detroit Red Wings need to sign this offseason

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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings, Nazem Kadri
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The Detroit Red Wings need to consider bringing in the ultra-pest Nazem Kadri.

This has the makings of almost a homecoming for forward Nazem Kadri, who grew up just two hours from Detroit in London, Ontario. Kadri was born in Ontario and split his time in junior playing with the Kitchener Rangers in addition to his hometown London Knights.

Kadri broke into the league playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a 19-year old but became a regulating 2012-13 appearing in 48 games, recording 44 points while scoring 18 goals, after being drafted seventh overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Level Draft.

There is no sugarcoating this; Kadri is a player you love to hate, but love if he’s on your team. I am convinced Red Wings fans across the globe would quickly embrace Kadri and all of his antics.

Kardi is set to hit the open market at 31-years old on the heels of a career-year pace. He’s achieved 42 points which are currently suitable for fifth-best in the NHL, and has scored 12 times in 27 games.

This offensive outburst isn’t anything new for Kadri, who scored 32 goals in back-to-back seasons for the Leafs in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Still, this season’s playmaking skills are somewhat surprising as he’s already matched his career-high of 30 assists. He recorded over 78 games as a 23-year old in just a fraction of the games.

Kadri is the perfect third-line center that can drive opponents insane with his antics and willingness to engage physically. For me, he’s a combination of Brad Marchand and Kirk Maltby. Maybe not as disturbing as Marchand, who once licked Ryan Callahan’s cheek during a scrum, but he can quickly get under your skin like Maltby but is offensively gifted like Marchand.

Over the past five years, Kadri has totaled 90 goals and 209 points in 287 games between Toronto and Colorado, along with winning 53% of his faceoff opportunities.

The Avs are tight against the cap and are expected to dish out a massive contract extension to super-star forward Nathan MacKinnon, whose current deal that pays him $6.3 million per season expires at the end of next season. MacKinnon will be set to earn Connor McDavid money whenever he signs the extension. McDavid signed an eight-year deal worth $100 million head of the 2018-19 season.

This will leave Kadri and others such as Andre Burakovsky and Valeri Nichushkin expendable this summer.

Next. 3 players that need to step-up for the Red Wings right now. dark

I expect Kadri will be looking to cash in if he keeps up this extraordinary scoring pace he’s been on this season. Still, if he’d be inclined to sign a three-year deal that averages $5 million per season, I’d hope Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings throw their hat in the ring for his services.