More than a few inside sources have confirmed now that the Toronto Maple Leafs might have interest in acquiring Sam Bennett from the Calgary Flames. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet was one of the first to bring it up, but since then, names like Luke Fox and Steve Simmons have reported something similar, that last of which actually proposed a trade he felt could work between the two sides.
Simmons wrote in a recent Toronto Sun article the following:
Leafs could use a player like the available Sam Bennett. They need some edge on their third line. They wouldn’t be able to get Bennett 1-for-1 for Alex Kerfoot, but if they could sweeten the pot just a little, they might be able to find a deal here … Bennett, by the way, played on a Marlies super team in the GTHL that had Connor McDavid, Josh Ho-Sang and Roland McKeown on it.
In other words, the trade would see Toronto send Kerfoot plus an asset to the Flames for Bennett. Both players are left-wingers/centers, the age difference is only two years and both have around the same production, with Kerfoot’s being a bit higher in the past few seasons.
The salaries aren’t an issue either. Bennett makes $2.55 million and Kerfoot $3.5 million. That’s not much of a problem for the Flames who can make some quick adjustments and the Maple Leafs could actually use the million they’ll save on the cap to do other things, especially closer to the trade deadline.
What About the Players Themselves?
You’ll find both sides thinking this trade is both a winner and a loser, which is usually what makes it a decent trade. Any fair deal sees a team giving up something with the fan base split. That would be the case here.
Some in Leafs Nation would call Bennett a downgrade, which then makes you wonder why the Leafs would give up two assets for a lesser player. Others in Leafs Nation would suggest that Kerfoot is quickly finding himself a whipping boy in Toronto as he takes a number of bad penalties at inopportune times and isn’t producing for what he’s being paid.
In Calgary, some will say you can’t send a playoff performer like Bennett out without getting more in return, while others would suggest jumping on the opportunity to land a depth player like Kerfoot if Bennett doesn’t want to be on the Flames roster is the wise thing to do.
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