Some Toronto Maple Leafs fans need to relax when it comes to the Sam Lafferty trade.
Due to terrible spending by GM Brad Treliving, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a tough decision to send Sam Lafferty to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 5th round draft pick.
Since he’s had a surprisingly strong start to the season, opposing fans are dunking on the Leafs and making fun of the trade.
Lafferty has eight goals and 15 points in 27 games so far with the Canucks.
That might seem good, but it’s based on a 15% on-ice shooting percentage, and an individual shooting percentage of 22%.
Lafferty is only making $1.15M this year, so based on that salary and the production he’s currently giving the Canucks, I can understand the anger from Leafs fans, but his offense is not going to last beyond this extreme hot streak.
If you have to be upset, don’t be mad about the trade or about Lafferty’s production, but instead be upset about who the Leafs kept over him. Thanks to the dumbest signing in team history, Toronto decided to prioritize Ryan Reaves over depth scoring, which is something they’ve been lacking forever.
Toronto Maple Leafs Do Not Regret the Sam Lafferty Trade
Lafferty scored 12 goals last year and his speed made him an effective player. In nine playoff games with the Leafs last year, I really liked his game and thought he’d a great piece on the fourth line. Instead, Toronto flipped him and kept a player who will have zero impact on any game he plays this year.
But keep in mind that the Toronto Maple Leafs are also not dressing Bobby McMann and Alex Steeves, two players who likely should be in the NHL and who do make Lafferty expendable.
Although we probably should be angry that Reaves is here instead of Lafferty, by the end of the season, it’s really not going to look as bad as it currently does.
Again, Lafferty is currently shooting at 22.2 percent, which is way up from his average of 10.1 percent. He’s scoring a twice the rate he typically does, so all of his numbers are inflated. With eight goals and 15 points, he’s definitely been a nice surprise for the Canucks, but he’s 100 percent going to cool off sooner than later.
Based on his current shooting production and stats thus far, Lafferty is on-pace to have another 69 shots on net this year. Based on that number, if he shoots at the shooting percentage he’s currently at, he’d finish with 25 goals on the season, which would drive Leafs fans crazy, but don’t worry, it’s not going to happen.
More likely than not, Lafferty is going to revert back to his old 10.1 shooting percentage and you’re rarely going to see him on the scoresheet. In fact, at that pace, he’d only score another seven goals for the rest of the season, which would put him at 15 total goals for the campaign.
That’s a solid season, but it’s not the end of the world. A good GM can find a 15-goal scorer in his sleep and that type of player isn’t going to be the difference between winning and losing a Stanley Cup.
If you think this trade is bad, it isn’t even half as bad as the Mason Marchment trade a few years ago, and that trade still isn’t the end of the world. Sure, Toronto flipped Marchment for Denis Malgin, who did nothing, while Marchment had 47 points in 54 games in 2021-22, but once again, it won’t be a difference-maker between winning or losing a Stanley Cup.
Unless you’re trading away a star goaltender or number-one defenseman from the Leafs, then nothing matters, as those two things are the only thing stopping them from winning a championshp.
So although this Lafferty trade doesn’t look pretty right now, just take a breath and relax. It’s really not that bad because his production is bound to decline any minute now.