Canucks’ Zadorov takes shot at Calgary and throws shade at Oilers media

Nikita Zadorov certainly doesn’t seem to mind being public enemy number one throughout the province of Alberta.

The 29-year-old defenceman spoke to reporters at today’s end-of-season media availabilities, during which time he made it clear just how much he enjoyed playing in front of Vancouver Canucks fans. In doing so, he took what some are viewing as a shot at his former team, the Calgary Flames.

“Hockey in Canada is different,” Zadorov began. “I can compare it to [playing] in Calgary, but I feel like Vancouver’s fan base is way bigger. Calgary’s not even the number-one team in Alberta. It’s obvious, there are more Edmonton [Oilers] fans because they have a bigger history through the years. But, Vancouver’s a different level. The fans were so hungry to see playoff hockey at home.”

While Zadorov seems to be stating facts more than taking jabs, it will be interesting to see how that quote is received by Flames fans. Regardless, what is clear is that he seemed to truly enjoy his time in Vancouver, and seems open to returning should the opportunity present itself.

Zadorov played exceptionally as a Canuck, particularly in the playoffs, where he managed four goals and eight points in 13 games. That production may have priced the soon-to-be free agent out of Vancouver, though he isn’t seeing it that way. Instead, he threw shade at Oilers media for all the speculation regarding his next deal.

“How much do you think I should be making?” Zadorov asked. “I don’t know where you guys get those numbers from, the trees? You’ve gotta stop listening to Edmonton reporters who are reporting the contract negotiating. It’s only between my agent and Patrik [Allvin]. Obviously, I love [it] here. Hopefully, we can work something out.”

Zadorov’s current deal was a two-year contract, which carried a cap hit of $3.75 million. His size, physicality, and perhaps even newfound offensive ability, could help him garner a raise this summer. Whether that comes with the Canucks or not remains to be seen.