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Andersen confident new-look Maple Leafs will come together quickly

Goalie embracing offseason changes that brought Barrie, Kerfoot to Toronto

by Dave McCarthy / Correspondent

TORONTO -- Frederik Andersen isn't worried about cohesiveness being an issue for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who could have several new players in the lineup when they open the regular season at home against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 2.

"I don't see that becoming the biggest concern at all," the goalie said Thursday at Smashfest, a charity pingpong tournament in support of concussion and cancer research hosted by former NHL player Dominic Moore. "There's a lot of new faces already, and we're trying to acclimate ourselves with the new guys.

"Obviously, saying goodbye to guys I got to know a lot the last few years is tough, but that is part of how the business works. As a team, we're trying to go in the right direction, keep building, and keep trying to find ways to improve."

Two of the new additions are defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Alexander Kerfoot, each acquired in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche on July 1 that sent Nazem Kadri to Colorado. Andersen is looking forward to playing behind Barrie, who has 307 points (75 goals, 232 assists) in 484 NHL games.

Video: Avalanche, Maple Leafs benefit from Barrie-Kadri swap

"A good puck-moving defenseman," Andersen said. "The times I've met him off the ice, he seems like a really good person who can add to our locker room with a lot of good guys here already."

Andersen has also helped welcome Kerfoot, who has 85 points (34 goals, 51 assists) in 157 NHL games.

"He's been great," Kerfoot said. "When I pulled up to the hotel, I met him right away. He drove me to the practice rink the first day I went out there, which was a great gesture out of him. He's told me how great it was to play here, how the fans here are unlike any place in the League, and how it's an exciting group to be a part of."

Kerfoot doesn't know many of the current Maple Leafs personally apart from defenseman Morgan Rielly, who he became acquainted with during their minor hockey days. Having Barrie around will help too, and he's excited about what he'll bring to Toronto.

"I really don't think he does get enough credit," Kerfoot said. "Being here, he will get a lot of exposure on a nightly basis, but his numbers speak for themselves. There's not many D-men in the League that put up the type of numbers he has, but he's more than that. People have critiqued his defensive game at times, but I've seen it firsthand. He's a good defensive player as well. I think sometimes people are a little too hard on him in that sense, but he's a complete player and one of the best offensive defensemen in the League.

"He's an extremely dynamic defenseman. He can change the game with what he brings on a day-to-day basis, his pace, ability to make plays in the offensive end. He's also a great teammate in the room. He'll fit well with this group."

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