Rumor: Potential for a trade between the Maple Leafs and Flames.

Toronto journalist believes there is a fit.


The Calgary Flames find themselves in something of an awkward situation. Flames forward Sam Bennett has now made it clear that he is not happy with his situation in the Flames organization after years of struggling to crack the team's top 6 in any kind of consistent fashion. Unfortunately for Bennett though, it sounds like the Flames aren't that interested in moving him.

Perhaps as a result of this lack of urgency from the Flames when it comes Bennett's trade request there hasn't been much more than whispers of a potential trade since the news first broke, but now controversial Toronto journalist Steve Simmons has proposed a deal that he believes could work. I'll be perfectly honest here I think this may be a little wishful thinking on the part of Simmons, but here is what he had to say on the matter.

From Simmons:

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.

There are a few problems with this potential deal, for starters Kerfoot makes a decent more per season than Bennett does. Kerfoot is currently signed to a 4 year deal (3 years remain including this current season) that pays him an average annual value of $3.5 million, meanwhile Bennett's own AAV only comes in at $2.25 million and is just for a single season. Considering that neither of these teams have a ton of cap flexibility, there would need to be some way to balance the books on both sides of the equation. That could come either in the form of salary retention or another contract being involved in the deal.

The current structures of their deals are also different enough to be relevant. As I mentioned already Kerfoot is signed for this season and the next two, but Bennett on the other hand is only signed for one more year. Bennett becomes a restricted free agent at the end of this current contract which means that his price tag will likely also be increasing, an important consideration for the team acquiring him.

I can certainly see where Simmons is coming from, the Leafs could user a player like Bennett especially when you factor in the loss of Wayne Simmonds over the weekend. Kerfoot would also appear to be a suitable replacement up the middle for the Flames who seem like they don't want to give up on Bennett, I just see quite a few obstacles to making this happen.