David Kampf addresses being a healthy scratch
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Leafs forward breaks his silence about being scratched on Saturday

Published January 1, 2024 at 11:50

Sheldon Keefe and the Toronto Maple Leafs are hoping to make a few changes to benefit the overall competitive nature of the team. Namely, increasing the accountability in the room and holding players responsible if their level of play dips below the level of expectation. We first saw this occur against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, when Keefe had scratched defensive specialist and primary penalty killer David Kampf.

Kampf had not played well on Friday evening against the Columbus Blue Jackets, going -1 on the night and registering just 1 hit and 1 shot on goal in just over 12 minutes of ice time. Keefe and company have come to expect more from Kampf, especially after he signed a 4-year extension worth $2.4M per season this summer - a nice little pay bump from the $1.5M he had earned in each of the last two seasons.

Kampf was back in his usual spot on the 4th line at Monday's practice and had a chance to speak with the media following his first healthy scratch this season. Kampf admitted to the media that he was surprised with the coaching staff's decision to scratch him, but that he doesn't plan to dwell on it. Kampf's mindset is on refocusing for the next game.

The Leafs are setting out on a Western Conference road swing that will take them through California this week, with matchups against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday and Wednesday before visiting San Jose on Saturday to close out a busy week with a lot of travel.

For Kampf, this will be an important road trip to try to get himself going. He has not looked nearly as effective this season and, while nobody is expecting him to produce offense on a nightly basis, the expectation is thaat he'll play a strong defensive game and make the most of his 12 minutes per game, and to see the 4th converting on some of their limited offensive chances when they do arise.
January 1   |   922 answers
Leafs forward breaks his silence about being scratched on Saturday

Do you think the Leafs should trade David Kampf and his $2.4M cap hit for 3 more seasons after this one?

Yes, we can find a cheaper 4th liner31434.1 %
No, he's a good PK guy60865.9 %
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