Maple Leafs' Kerfoot deserves more than his salary - Sports1
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Maple Leafs’ Kerfoot deserves more than his salary

In fact, Alex Kerfoot is the most invisible player on the Toronto Maple Leafs. He always seems to be in the sights of Maple Leafs fans. On the one hand, this makes a lot of sense. Kerfoot plays in some pretty big shades given the Maple Leafs’ roster.

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Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, William Nylander, Morgan Rayleigh, even TJ Brodie or Jack Muzing have received more media coverage. Perhaps, well deserved. However, some players below him on the depth chart like Ilya Mikheev, Ondre Keys, David Kempf, Jason Spezha, Wayne Symonds, Pierre Engvar, and even Nick Ritchie, who was recently cut, seem to be getting more pressure than Kerfoot. positive or negative.

Really, the only time Kerfoot seems to be mentioned is in relation to his $3.5 million salary cap. It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Maple Leafs will use Kerfoot to gain cap space, by taking the load off him to sign other “more important” players, and through agency, the cap hit.

Alex Kerfoot, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Owen /hockey writer)

One thing fans seem to notice about Kerfoot is that they don’t seem to notice him at all. If he happens to have a good game and he scores more points, he still seems to be mentioned as a footnote, something like “Kerfoot got three points tonight”.

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In fact, that’s what happened last night against the Colorado Avalanche. Kerfoot was placed in a position that was unfamiliar to him. He’s covering for Mitch Marner, who is out under the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. Kerfoot continued to score and added two assists.

recent. Kerfoot has received some press notifications because he is the Swiss Army Knife of Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe. Based on his example last night, he’s a player who can play many roles. He was used as a third-line center and a second-line winger. He can kill penalties, and he plays a role in a second strong unit.

Toronto Maple Leafs Ilya Mikheyev Alexander Kerfoot Morgan Rielly Rasmus Sandin
Toronto Maple Leafs Ilya Mikheyev, Alexander Kerfoot, Morgan Rielly and Rasmus Sandin celebrate a goal.
(Canadian Media/Christopher Kasarov)

During last season’s playoffs, he served as a second-line center, filling the void left by Tavares’ injury. And, he did the job pretty well, scoring six points in seven playoff games, making him the second-best scorer on the entire Maple Leafs.

Fast forward to this year, and Kerfoot is quietly having the best season of his career. After the Maple Leafs lost 5-4 in overtime to Colorado, he scored a goal and had two assists to rank fifth for the Maple Leafs in scoring with 24 points in 33 games (he scored 6 ball and 18 assists). Extending to an 82-game season, the result was 15 goals and 45 assists (60 points), 17 points ahead of his previous best season.

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Even more impressively, Kerfoot led the team and tied for sixth in the NHL with a plus-19 rating. From an analytical standpoint, Kerfoot is tied for sixth with 66.67% of goals scored in five-on-five situations, and sixth among players with 40 or more total goals on the ice. In five-on-five games this season, Kerfoot has scored 32 goals on the ice compared to just 16.

Of course, any fan reading this may have noticed that Kerfoot has played with Tavares and Nylander for most of the season. Of course, he will be better this season. Fans can add that Nyland’s career season with 15 goals and 35 points in 33 games will expand to 37 goals and 50 assists (87-point season). They could add that Tavares was a scorer with 14 goals and 20 assists (34 points) in 32 games, which would also extend to 36 goals and 51 assists (87 points) ).

William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs
William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Owen /hockey writer)

It makes sense that playing with these players would help improve Kerfoot’s scoring numbers. Obviously, those fans are right. However, any NHL line is a partnership. So, it’s also fair to say that having Kerfoot playing alongside Tavares and Nylander played a big part in the season they’ve had.

There’s another way to look at Kerfoot’s value to the team. Maybe it’s time for us all to see that Alex Kerfoot isn’t just a player taking up $3.5 million in available salary cap space and think he’s a player worthy of his $3.5 million salary.

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[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]
old professor

Senior Professor (Jim Parsons, Sr.) has taught for over 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He is a Canadian boy with two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing his hockey card and simply being a sports fan – hockey, Toronto Raptors and CFL football (think Ricky Ray is the embodiment of how a professional athlete should behave).

If you’re wondering why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son — also Jim Parsons — is hockey writer First and ask Jim Sr. to use another name so readers don’t confuse their work.

Since Jim Sr. worked in China, he adopted Mandarin to mean teacher (teacher). The first character lǎo (old) means “old” and the second character shī (teacher) means “teacher”. The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher”. This became his pen name.Today, except for hockey writer, he teaches graduate research design at several Canadian universities.

He looks forward to sharing his insights on the Toronto Maple Leafs and how sports can be more fully integrated into life. His twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf


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