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Maple Leafs New Defenseman Takes Shot At Former Team


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Pat Quinn
September 29, 2023  (10:43)
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Simon Benoit suited up for 78 games last season for the lowly Anaheim Ducks, where he registered 10 points and 60 penalty minutes while also going -29.

In a confusing move, the Ducks chose not to qualify Benoit and instead let him become a free agent, where he signed a one-year, one-way $775,000 deal with the Maple Leafs.

Calls out former team

Benoit is confident in his abilities and plans to make the Anaheim Ducks look silly for not signing him once the season ended.
Benoit had already made an impression the season prior, as he skated in 53 games in 2021-22, coming up and playing solid defense while other Ducks defensemen went down to injury.
Once last season was finished, extension talks quickly deteriorated, and it became apparent Anaheim had no interest in retaining the rugged defenseman's services.

What Does Benoit Bring?

According to Benoit:
"I have a really physical game. For me, the most important part is just being physical, being reliable defensively. And if I can bring some offence, good. But I know it's not my main focus. I just want to be hard to play against and not letting the guys come to the net."

In 2022-23, with an average ice time of 19:21, Benoit posted career highs in games played (78), points (10), hits (216), and blocks (128).
Head Coach Sheldon Keefe likes Benoit's size and strength. That is one key area the Maple Leafs wanted to address in the off-season. It will be an uphill battle for the defenseman as he has started camp late due to injury, and Toronto has a solid defense with seven other defensemen slated to start the year. It may take Benoit an injury or two to get a recall from the Toronto Marlies.
As Read On Sportsnet - 'It's a win for Toronto': Simon Benoit vows to make Maple Leafs roster
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29 SEPTEMBRE   |   423 ANSWERS
Maple Leafs New Defenseman Takes Shot At Former Team

Can Benoit make the Maple Leafs opening night roster?

Yes25660.5 %
No16739.5 %
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