The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t had the craziest offseason, but they did manage to add free agent forward Calle Jarnkrok of the roster. However, the recent move had insider James Mirtle of The Athletic wondered if the four-year contract with an average annual value of $2.1 million offered to Jarnkrok has made Alex Kerfoot expendable.
Kerfoot has heard his name mentioned more than once in trade chatters and he is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He earns $3.5 million this season, but he might have great value on the trade market for the Maple Leafs.
Mirtle is adamant: Jarnkrok would be a downgrade from Kerfoot, but he is aware that the latter might be a great trade chip on the market.
“Kerfoot turns 28 in August and is coming off his best season in the NHL while Jarnkrok will celebrate his 31st birthday in September and showed hints of decline last season (44 percent expected goals, down from an always solid 50 percent). It’s possible that was tied to a) leaving Nashville after 508 games and b) joining an expansion squad in Seattle, where his numbers perhaps predictably suffered.”
Like Kerfoot might be the best asset available for the Leafs to use in a trade, Mirtle points out that Toronto could prefer moving defenseman Justin Holl instead. However, they should hold on until they’ve got more clarity on Rasmus Sandin’s contract situation.
What is clear is that something’s got to give for the Leafs given their salary cap limitations. And Mirtle is right : Jarnkrok’s addition could make Kerfoot the odd man out. But if the Maple Leafs get Sandin signed, do you move Holl instead?