The Arizona Coyotes stayed busy on the first day of free agency, signing veteran forward Alexander Kerfoot to a two-year, $7 million contract, sources told ESPN’s Kristen Shilton on Saturday night, confirming reports.
Earlier in the day, the Coyotes signed former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jason Zucker to a one-year deal and brought back three former players, center Nick Bjugstad, forward Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Troy Stecher.
The term “secondary scoring” is bandied about a lot in today’s NHL, and on a powerful Toronto Maple Leafs team last season, Kerfoot, who will be 29 when next season begins, was expected to bring a lot of that.
While he showed flashes, Kerfoot finished with just 10 goals and 32 points, and though the Maple Leafs advanced to the second round of the playoffs after eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning, there wasn’t enough primary or secondary scoring to defeat the Florida Panthers.
At center, Kerfoot is quite dependable, having played all 82 games for Toronto the past two seasons. He has four double-digit goal seasons in his NHL career — which started with the Colorado Avalanche after playing collegiately for the Harvard Crimson — and 74 tallies overall.
In the postseason this year, Kerfoot finished with two goals on 13 shots, averaging 14:10 time on the ice as Toronto’s run ended with a loss to Florida in five games.
Kerfoot carried a moderate $3.5 million salary-cap hit last season, and, as free agency opened, he figured to be a dependable, second-line option at a manageable rate. That played out, as Arizona’s final offer was indeed a $3.5 million annual rate.
News of Kerfoot’s decision was first reported by PHNX Sports.
Arizona Coyotes stay busy, give Alexander Kerfoot 2-year deal