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January 15, 2014 | 11:53am ET
Kadri being dangled as bait

The Maple Leafs have been actively shopping for top-line center and it appears youngster Nazem Kadri could be the odd man out of Toronto.

Leafs GM Dave Nonis would like to upgrade his center position, as management and the coaching staff has been disappointed with Kadri's play this season.

It's believed the Maple Leafs would be willing to package Kadri and defenseman Jake Gardiner in a deal for a proven first-line center, and then move Tyler Bozak off of the top unit to man the second line.

While there are no guarantees that he'll find what he's looking for, Nonis has been fishing for some time, however such a deal might be more likely to occur in the off-season.

The Leafs and Edmonton Oilers have been talking for some time, having scouted each other in the first part of the season. The Oilers like Gardiner and are entertaining offers for center Sam Gagner.

Though Gagner isn't a first-line player, the Leafs have shown interest in him in the past.

The Leafs have also expressed interest Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, who is off the market, and Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny before, but he is in the final year of his contract and the Leafs will not move Kadri for a player set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Nonis has also explored the possibility of adding a top-six winger, an asset several clubs are trying to acquire.

Kadri, 23, has collected 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points in 44 games with the Leafs so far this season, but owns a minus-13 rating.

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