Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks Should Trade Problems

Vancouver isn't playing Andrei Kuzmenko, and the Leafs could use to get rid of David Kampf.

Jan 16, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) makes a save on
Jan 16, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) makes a save on / Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver are both regretting some of the money they spent in the summer.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, for reasons that still cannot be fathomed, decided to make David Kampf the highest paid fourth-liner in the NHL, and also signed Ryan Reaves to a three year contract.

Vancouver signed Andrei Kuzmenko to a $5.5 million dollar two-year contract, but they aren't even playing him very much.

A swap could help both teams.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks Should Trade Problems

Kuzmenko, 27, scored 39 goals as a rookie last year along with 74 points. This year in 40 games he has eight goals and 19 points. He averages the least amount of ice-time per game among forwards for Vancouver who have played in over 30 games.

Since they aren't using Kuzmenko, maybe Toronto can sell them on David Kampf defense, especially since Vancouver doesn't seem to be a team that cares much about advanced stats, and likely think they are a legitamate contender. (Which, who knows, maybe they are).

I could see how a defensive specialist could appeal to a team like the Canucks, is what I'm trying to say here.

Also, Kuzmenko, while he isn't scoring like he did last year, he is putting up solid numbers. The Canucks possess the puck more often than not when he's on the ice, and they win his minutes - both real and expected.

Kuzmenko is a classic case of not living up to the contract, and then the team panics and tries to get out of the money they owe him. Kampf and Reaves are signed long-term, and Kuzmenko is a guy who almost scored 40 goals last year, so the Leafs might have to add to this deal, even though Vancouver would save nearly $2 million, which might be motivation enough. If so, I doubt they'd have to add a much.

For example, Nick Robertson or a first round pick would be way too much.

This seems like a way to make a move with limited assets, fix a mistake, and take advantage of what I still think is a poorly run team that you could trick into giving you a really good player by offering them defense and toughness. Obviously they will like saving $1.8 million on the cap too.

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Kampf has been a problem for the Leafs, and Keefe absolutely loves the guy for reasons almost as unclear as the Ryan Reaves signing.