Maple Leafs expected to 'cut bait' with long time forward.
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Maple Leafs expected to 'cut bait' with long time forward.

The Toronto Maple Leafs may be making a shift to their forward group, but not the one most fans were hoping for.

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs may be moving on from one of their long time forwards this summer according to one National Hockey League insider.

Although seemingly all of the talk surrounding the Maple Leafs this summer has focused on the future of much-maligned star forward Mitch Marner, recently former NHL player Nick Kypreos revealed his belief that it may actually be veteran forward David Kampf who is shipped out of Toronto.

From Kypreos:

 Is David Kämpf still in the plans to lead the Leafs’ checking line? There’s a good chance they cut bait there as well.

Kampf has been a fixture of the Maple Leafs penalty kill over the course of the past 3 seasons and although he doesn't produce a great deal in the way of offense, he has been lauded for his defensive play during his time in Toronto.

I suspect that if there were to be one single reason that the Maple Leafs would view Kampf as expendable, it would be due to his relatively large cap hit as a bottom of the lineup forward. Kampf is currently entering the second year of a 4 year contract he signed with the Maple Leafs in June of 2023, one that carries an average annual value and cap hit of $2.4 million per season.

$2.4 million is a big number to commit to a player in your bottom 6 and the Maple Leafs may feel that they could plug the hole left by Kampf in the lineup with some of their young prospects like Fraser Minten and Easton Cowen, both of whom are expected to make a push for the main roster in training camp.

Kampf saw his lowest point production for the Maple Leafs last season recording 8 goals and 11 assists for a total of 19 points, and finishing the campaign with a plus minus rating of -4.