Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/7/13

Dion Phaneuf jetted off to New York Wednesday morning to attend an NHL media event. Joffrey Lupul checked back in to Toronto after a summer spent travelling. Tyler Bozak let reporters in on a friendly bet he lost to a friend from his college hockey days. And Nazem Kadri? Well the 22-year-old was talking contract with reporters — and sparring with them on Twitter. It’s still six days away from training camp but the Maple Leafs were anything but innocuous as a group of them continued their preparations Wednesday. Kadri has been making headlines during contract negotiations with the Leafs that are stalled over term and money at the moment. Those figures were discussed on Twitter including in the account of highly respected TSN hockey analyst Bob McKenzie. Kadri in response to the figures posted about his negotiations replied “false bobo.” It touched off some exchanges in the hockey media and elsewhere but Kadri said that wasn’t his intention. “I didn’t go after him (McKenzie) it didn’t get out of control” Kadri said about McKenzie who is one of only a handful of Canadians to surpass a half million followers on Twitter. “But I don’t want everyone to think I’m unfair. I just don’t know where those numbers are coming from. But we’re in Toronto and there’s going to be speculation … but no one knows the truth.” Kadri who is a restricted free agent after exiting his three-year entry level deal is said to be seeking a long-term contract. That contrasts the Leafs’ interest in a shorter “bridge” contract that mirrors similar deals signed by young Montreal stars P.K. Subban and Carey Price. Several other NHL young guns signed two-year deals after their entry-level contracts including T.J. Oshie Matt Duchesne and David Perron. Comparisons between Kadri’s apparent demands and various short-term deals added drama to the Kadri talks with the Leafs; Kadri realizes the current stalemate could result in a holdout during training camp but he stresses his sole aim is to be on the ice when camp opens next Wednesday. “It’s always in the back of your mind but at the end of the day I love to play this game and I still have a passion for it. … I’m 22 and I want to be on the ice I want to play (but) if that’s what it takes (holdout) … I don’t want to I want to be here in camp with all the guys I want to get back with the guys and get going” Kadri said. “The guys are here now and they’re working hard. There’s camp and getting the new systems down again and I don’t want to miss out. But I’ve been through a lot in the last two years so this is another thing to work out.” Kadri was on the ice Wednesday with several Leaf regulars including defenceman Cody Franson who is similarly in an RFA contract negotiation with the Leafs where the two sides appear far apart. So far Franson is maintaining hope of a deal by the opening of camp and says the ongoing talks are not a distraction at this point. “It’s not frustrating” Franson said. “It’s just part of the business. I’m preparing as if there is nothing to worry about. I don’t want to miss camp that’s when you get used to the new guys on the team and get back with the guys who were here last year. My agent is talking with (the Leafs) and that’s where it stands I’m really not too sure what’s going on.”

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