After the Calgary Flames’ loss in a shootout against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nikita Zadorov was the talk of the town, and it wasn’t for any good reasons. It was reported that Zadorov had requested a trade from the Calgary Flames through his agent, and his agent, Dan Milstein, immediately corroborated this on social media.
Then, the Flames continued onto the second leg of their Ontario back-to-back and faced off against the Ottawa Senators. Despite wanting out, the Flames opted to dress Zadorov anyway instead of scratching him to avoid potential injury. Talk about an awkward situation in the locker room. The team went out and played anyway, but fell 4–1 to the Senators.
Zadorov speaks on his trade request
After the game, Zadorov was one of the players who addressed the media and he was asked about the trade request.
On Milstein’s initial tweet
Well I mean, I am supporting [Milstein], obviously that’s my agent… I have to support him. It was his decision to make that tweet, he definitely wants to protect me, wants the best opportunity for [me], you know, so I think he’s definitely helping me in that situation.
…That’s your job to discuss and all that stuff, I mean you understand there’s a lot of business stuff going on and everything… You guys can only see 10% of what’s going on behind the curtains.
I mean I love my time being a Calgary Flame. I’m enjoying it every day. I love the fans, I love the city. Like I said last summer, I would love to be a Calgary Flame for my whole life, but I mean the business side, sometimes stuff happens you know… My agent’s gotta protect me at some points for sure.
On if he actually asked for a trade
Well, we’ve been discussing it. Like I said, I can not really say a lot of stuff you know. Maybe [there will be a time] when I’m able to share it with you.
On the comments about his ice time
Well I mean, I’m not controlling it. I can feel whatever I want, but the coaches are controlling it. My job is to go out there and compete. I think that’s what I’m bringing every night. You know at the end of the day, it’s my 11th year in the league and it’s all about my teammates right now, so I feel like that’s not really a proper situation for the team right now… I would be pissed if I were them if I [saw] that from my teammate, but I hope they’d understand one day…
I’ve been focussing on being a great teammate my whole life. I think if you ask the guys around the league who’ve played with me, I’d hope nobody said a bad word about me. I would step in for the guys and always help… That’s what I’m going to keep doing every night I get an opportunity to play in this league and be humble.
On having Milstein go public
You [have to] ask him. I’m a player and I’m playing hockey. He’s doing my business and I trust him on that. He thought that it was a good decision to do it—I have to support him on that.
Choice words from Zadorov
The Flames are in a bit of a tight spot right now. Zadorov knew what he was going to say it and it seemed like there were some carefully chosen words in some of his answers. Between being coy about how there’s stuff he can’t talk about, and how he backs his agent on the whole situation, it seems like Zadorov’s days in Calgary are numbered.
It’s now a matter of when, not if Zadorov is traded. If the Flames are quick to act—and they should be—they better be opening an auction up for Zadorov and selling to the highest bidder, whoever that may be.