Toronto maple leafs suspended David Kämpf today for…

Toronto maple leafs suspended David Kämpf today for…


Monday Morning Leafs Report: The reasons David Kämpf could be making a comeback



Sheldon Keefe made a sneaky, easily overlooked lineup decision over the weekend in Montreal.

The Toronto Maple Leafs coach slotted David Kämpf in as the team’s third-line centre, something he’s done only a few times all season.



Although Kämpf had played third base for the Leafs much of his first two seasons in Toronto, he has not played much this year.


William Nylander was given a brief trial by the Leafs during training camp. To begin the regular season, they temporarily tried a youngster named Fraser Minten. Max Domi had been that player in the lineup for a while. And then, even more unexpectedly and recently, John Tavares.



The instability there is what seemed to make acquiring a legit top-nine centre a priority for Brendan Shanahan and Brad Treliving ahead of the March 8 trade deadline. They opted not to pay a first-round pick for Adam Henrique, though, and couldn’t come up with the assets to land Alex Wennberg.



Which left it up to Keefe to figure something out, something more workable than what the Leafs were doing previously, before the playoffs begin in mid-April.

And where Keefe may have landed is with Kämpf reclaiming a more prominent role.



Kämpf played 17.5 minutes on Saturday, which placed him third among Leaf forwards behind Michael Nylander and Auston Matthews. Compared to Tavares, Kämpf played a full minute more in five-on-five. (He spent about 17 minutes in Boston the previous two evenings as well.)

And why did that occur?


The reason for this is because Keefe made Kämpf take up his previous janitorial responsibilities alongside Bobby McMann and Matthew Knies. Against the Canadiens, that trio lined up for a team-high eight defensive-zone draws—more than the other three units combined.

Most importantly, Tyler Bertuzzi, Nylander, and Matthews formed the top line for just one.


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