Toronto Maple Leafs basic supervisor (GM) Kyle Dubas has been a busy man this season, attempting to improve his hockey membership to offer this roster the very best probability to make some noise within the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the current blockbuster cope with the St Louis Blues to accumulate each Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari, the Maple Leafs now have an incredible quantity of heart depth amongst their lineup and this might probably make David Kampf accessible in commerce talks. Hockey insider Darren Dreger just lately talked about he felt Dubas was not completed and will see a roster participant like Kampf being shipped out.
Thus far by way of three video games with O’Reilly and Acciari within the lineup, head coach Sheldon Keefe has used O’Reilly at second-line heart, Acciari down the center on the fourth line and Kampf sitting within the third gap. Keefe’s current feedback about finally seeing Tavares again at heart, to me, means Kampf is offered nevertheless it may very well be a steep worth. Right here’s three potential commerce locations for the pending unrestricted free agent:
Two issues to think about right here, if Kampf is dealt it’s prone to a Western Convention group and it’s possible both going to be for a mid-round draft decide or depth defenseman. The Colorado Avalanche want depth down the center and are the primary potential vacation spot on the board.
Kampf has scored 5 objectives in 58 video games this season with the Maple Leafs and is finest served in a shut-down position and killing penalties. The Avs might use a veteran with defensive instincts behind the likes of Nathan MacKinnon and teen Alex Newhook.
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Colorado doesn’t essentially have any depth defenseman who’re possible accessible that bounce off the web page. If that is the vacation spot, it’s possible Dubas takes again a draft decide and given Avs’ GM Joe Sakic has already moved out his second and third-rounders the subsequent two drafts, maybe their 2024 fourth-rounder is one thing to circle.
The Edmonton Oilers are actively discussing numerous trades and will have curiosity in touchdown a third-line heart for his or her Stanley Cup Playoff push. Kampf suits the invoice and will alleviate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to play a extra offensive position within the group’s prime six.
The Oilers have Jesse Puljujarvi who’s in determined want of a change of surroundings, nonetheless leaving Edmonton to a scorching mattress in Toronto will not be the very best recipe for fulfillment. GM Ken Holland has numerous draft picks nonetheless left at his disposal, might a third-round decide in 2023 be too dear for a defensive minded heart?
Holland will probably be aggressive earlier than the March 3 commerce deadline, nonetheless along with his consideration on a possible Erik Karlsson commerce, it’s arduous to say how a lot focus he’ll put into upgrading his backside six. In addition to Puljujarvi the Oilers don’t have a ton to supply the Maple Leafs.
A group anticipated so as to add not less than one ahead earlier than the commerce deadline, the Dallas Stars might have curiosity in buying Kampf from the Maple Leafs.
The Stars have below $1 million in deadline cap area and this deal must be a cash in/cash out kind of transaction. Dallas has defenseman Colin Miller who, curiously sufficient is a Sault St Marie Greyhound alumni, so we all know Dubas would have curiosity.
Miller is signed by way of subsequent season at $1.8 million towards the cap and will assist substitute Justin Holl in 2023-24. The veteran blueliner has appeared in 56 video games and has recorded 13 factors. He performs most of his minutes at even energy and would give the Maple Leafs an alternative choice from the appropriate facet.
Dallas additionally has the towering presence of Jani Hakanpaa, who makes the very same as Kampf at $1.5 million yearly and the 30-year-old defenseman is signed by way of subsequent season. At 6-foot-5 Hakanpaa is a beast and likes to throw his physique round and play a bodily sport. He’s recorded 155 hits and 96 blocked pictures to date in 2022-23 and as one of many Stars’ finest penalty killers, can be a troublesome promote for administration to chop ties with. Unlikely a commerce candidate, particularly for a defensive bottom-six ahead and more likely Miller can be included right here.
On the finish of the day, Dubas and the Maple Leafs can be sensible to maintain Kampf of their combine. Whereas shifting Tavares again to heart might imply much less enjoying time for Kampf, it’s possible Toronto would transfer Acciari to the wing earlier than shifting out Kampf. Except, a group contacts the Maple Leafs with an incredible quantity of curiosity in buying their shut-down heart and have a veteran defenseman to supply. Then something is feasible.