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Alex Kerfoot explains why he chose Arizona over other teams who showed interest in free agency

Published August 11, 2023 at 11:25
BY MIKE ARMENTI

Heading into this summer, it appeared quite likely that the Leafs would finally be moving on from forward Alexander Kerfoot after four years with the organization. Kerfoot had been the subject of many trade rumours over the past couple of seasons and while the team had found what he brought to the table as valuable, the fanbase, in large, didn't exactly feel the same way.

When GM Brad Treliving came in and essentially backed the core group, consisting of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, William Nylander and Morgan Rielly, it meant that there would be some key subtractions around the fringe to try to compliment the core as best he could. One of those subtractions was indeed Kerfoot, who signed a two-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes in free agency last month.

While I'm sure Kerfoot would have preferred to return to Toronto for a chance to run it back with the current core, when he was let go by the organization, it didn't take him long to agree to terms with the Coyotes. All it took to sell him on the idea was a simple Zoom call with GM Bill Armstrong and Andre Tourigny, Kerfoot told NHL.com.

"I just came away really impressed with where they're headed, what their mindset is at right now, and I think with what they're doing and where they envision the team going, it was a group that I wanted to be a part of.


Having played against them the last few years, they're a tough team to play against, they're competitive, they're fast, and I just felt like I could fit in with where I'm at. I was looking for a place where I thought that the fit was really good, and of the teams that I was talking to, I felt most comfortable with them. I felt like the fit was a big thing for me, and for the group, and everything else is an added bonus.

It just feels like they're in a different spot now. It feels like they're trying to take the next step. Being part of that change and helping grow the culture is fun to be a part of. Things are trending really well for this group, and I'm happy to be part of it." - Kerfoot on why he chose Arizona as a free agent

Kerfoot joins a young and hungry Coyotes team who are looking to, as he put it, take that next step. He'll join Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, Dylan Guenther, Logan Cooley and Lawson Crouse, among others, in trying to change the team's fortunes in 2023-24.

Kerfoot ended last season with the Leafs with 10 goals and 32 points in 82 games - the 2nd consecutive full 82-game season for the durable, versatile forward. He is just one season removed from a career-high 51-point season in 2021-22. Kerfoot should not only be able to help provide some secondary offense for the Yotes, but will provide the team with a solid special teams contributor as well, especially on the penalty kill.

POLL
August 11   |   204 answers
Alex Kerfoot explains why he chose Arizona over other teams who showed interest in free agency

How many points will Alex Kerfoot finish with in his first season in Arizona?

40 or less11757.4 %
41-506632.4 %
More than 502110.3 %
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