Kadri: Contract talks with Leafs are becoming a distraction Staff

8/20/2013 7:50:16 PM

Restricted free agent centre Nazem Kadri is still in a holding pattern in contract talks with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the 22-year-old centre may be feeling the pinch.

Working out at the team's practice facility in Mississauga on Tuesday, Kadri told reporters that talks over a new deal are weighing heavier on his mind as training camp draws closer.

"The closer it comes to training camp, it becomes more and more of a distraction," Kadri said. "That said, I'm being more than reasonable. Right now, it's their decision to make."

Kadri, who had no arbitration rights after completing his entry-level deal in June, was second in team scoring with 44 points in 48 games last season. The Maple Leafs have been at a standstill with Kadri and fellow RFA Cody Franson as both players could be seeking bigger contracts while the team has just under $5 million in cap space.

By comparison, Carolina's Jeff Skinner, New York Islanders centre John Tavares and Edmonton's Taylor Hall landed big contracts out of their entry-level deals and Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog got one last week - a seven-year $39 million contract extension.

"I know I'm being pretty reasonable, taking all that cap into consideration when really, that's not my job," told reporters. "I did my work over these past three years. I did exactly what they told me, trying to be the player they want me to be. I think I'm well on my way.

"I've got 100 games in this league. I don't think that's a little. I understand you've got to play 82 games. I'm becoming more mature and every year it's getting easier."

Files from The Toronto Star and Toronto Sun were used for this report.