Ashley Kadri was in the midst of her nesting phase, folding tiny clothes and tucking them into drawers. Thirty-seven weeks pregnant, she had just had her new condo decorated, completing the baby room with pink polka-dotted wallpaper. Baby Naylah’s life was set to begin in Toronto, where her dad, Nazem, played hockey.

The expecting couple was on the couch watching TV when Nazem’s phone rang. He doesn’t normally leave the room for calls: only when his dad or his agent is on the line. So Ashley knew something was serious when he stood up and walked to the den to take the call.

She didn’t have to wait long to find out what was going on. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas kept Nazem on the phone for less than a minute — hurtfully short, in the forward’s mind — to tell him he’d been traded from a city and team he didn’t want to leave.

“Where are we going?” Ashley remembers asking.

Colorado. But first, Nazem went to their bedroom, shutting the door behind him. Ashley waited, giving him space until she saw a post pop up on Instagram. Nazem had written a thank you message to the city of Toronto. “You asked for my heart and I gave you my soul,” he typed.

After seeing the post, Ashley opened the door to find Nazem on their bed. She could tell he was holding back tears. He was shocked. Heartbroken.

“It sucks, you know?” Ashley says. “It doesn’t suck now, but when it was happening, it sucked.”

The cause of the trade was no mystery. It came down to one play: a retaliatory cross-check to Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk’s head in Game 2 of the Leaf’s 2019 first-round series with Boston. That play led to Kadri’s second suspension in as many postseasons, this time a five-gamer that kept him out through Game 7.

He never played another game for the Leafs. The team lost the series and lost faith in Kadri.

“Normally trades don’t happen like that,” Ashley says. “It’s just a trade and it is what it is. But Naz got traded because he got suspended back-to-back. That’s probably what it was.”

The DeBrusk cross-check did more than cause a trade. It also cemented Kadri’s reputation, one he’s still trying to shed three years later.

Emotionally, moving on from Toronto prompted what Ashley calls a psychological resurgence in Nazem. For the first time, she says, he had to look inside himself and abandon his ego. It was comfortable, especially because the consequences of his actions rippled well beyond himself and even his team. It impacted his family, too. The trade forced Ashley and Naylah — who was born on July 7, 2019, six days after the trade — to move 1,500 miles to a new country and a new life.