Why is everyone still saying the Kraken will take Kerfoot from the Maple Leafs?
Before the Maple Leafs traded for Jared McCann, the word on the streets for days, if not weeks, was that Seattle would take Alexander Kerfoot in the expansion draft. The Leafs would choose to protect four defensemen and four forwards and let Kerfoot go, with minimal regret, as they earned $ 3.5 million in cap space.
Now that the exchange has taken place, the Leafs have clearly turned to the smart scheme of leveraging their protection slots and adding an attacker to use one of the seven spaces in a seven and three protection formula, and Holl heads west. But everyone still seems to be saying it will be Kerfoot taken. Make them stop!
Good. I would, you see, except I think they’re right.
We’ve joked for years that the Leafs have to clone Zach Hyman, and it never worked. But some players are easier to copy than others. And that’s what Kyle Dubas did when he traded a pick and prospect that no one was yet fond of in Pittsburgh for Jared McCann. He put Kerfoot in the copier and got a very plausible duplicate.
McCann, who has played 11-12 minutes per game five-on-five, is doing well, especially this past season. He was on the third line and played a small power play. This season he has played a lot on the power play, scoring his goals and his face value. But in terms of usage, he and his cap of under $ 3 million are in a class with Kerfoot.
I like McCann better because he’s younger and is an expiration bidder, even though he’s worth almost $ 3.5 million considering how much his qualifying bid is in the year. next. Because his skills are more offensive than Kerfoot’s, he is better suited. But in terms of the actual impact on the game’s outcome, none of them will suddenly become a top-six player, and their value rests as a center on the third row.
I think Kyle Dubas considers them to be largely interchangeable. And what he did was cover his need not to lose a decently priced player to fill that role while also not losing his even more decently priced player filling the role of fourth defender.
But Holl is no good, however
No kidding, Holl isn’t that good, and I’ve heard the idea that Rasmus Sandin or Travis Dermott may now be assumed to be able to play the role of Holl. And I don’t buy it. More importantly, that’s not how coaches and general managers in the NHL make up the rosters. They don’t ink rookies or players who you always want to believe have the “edge” they’ve mysteriously never shown before. They tell you what they think of players when they don’t really want one of them playing big playoff minutes.
Sandin played 9:51 five to five in the playoffs and Dermott played 16:12. Sandin has appeared in five games and Dermott in three. It’s not a resounding endorsement of their impending promotion to the top four. If you want to believe it, and the Leafs want it too, you can hope, but you can’t insist, you know they won’t be much worse than Holl. That the team will not be worse in their weakest area with Holl gone.
It is common not to have fair six defenders in a team too. How far 25 minutes a night do we want Ben Hutton or Calle Rosen? Should we remind Martin Marincin of the Czech championship?
If you step back and imagine reading a business proposal that says get rid of one of the Leafs’ defensemen in exchange for a forward, does that make sense? What did old Lamoriello say about trying to fill a hole by digging another somewhere else?
Holl isn’t the best of the NHL’s top four defensemen, but he’s not a bad one, either. He doesn’t make the team worse by doing what he does on the cheap. His best attribute is his hat trick, his second best is that he produces a plausible falsehood of a number four defender in a narrow range of good versus bad times. He also fits the Leafs’ system, particularly offensively, and he’s quite good on the PK. Not only that, it stands there right now under contract and costs no assets to acquire.
It doesn’t matter if he’s better or worse, or nearly indistinguishable from Alexander Kerfoot, because we know Kerfoot is easy to replace. Dubas just did it. And the cost was very easy to pay.
Once Seattle gets rid of players from all the other teams, they might have some cheap defenders to sell. But then again, they might not, and they might just price it really high because … tell me if you’ve ever heard that … right-handed defenders who can play big minutes are hard to find. . I wonder what Cody This will sign for, in fact – let me check – Evolving Hockey predicts three years at $ 3.8 million.
The choice Kyle Dubas made on Saturday when he submitted his protection list was not a head-to-head player evaluation contest. It was about ending up with a team that is at least no worse than the one he currently has. Isn’t that a good result of the Expansion Draft?
If he left Kerfoot and McCann exposed, as all the pundits seem to suggest, he’s letting Seattle leave him with a third-row cross who can come up and play the wing when needed.
I think that’s what he did. He might have paid Seattle a fee to make sure they take the player he is most willing to lose. And if he has a real plan – not hopes, wishes and dreams – to improve (and spend more) on his defense, only then will he have exposed Justin Holl.
This morning we will know what he chose.