Mr. Nonis, give him an offer: Leo Komarov would love to be a Leaf again

784
Leo pleads his case before the courts (Photo by Davor Sajko / KHL.hr)

On Friday, hockey fans in Zagreb, Croatia got to see the fantastic Dynamo Moscow, without a doubt the best hockey team outside the NHL. Their ‘pest’ is also a fantastic player, one particularly familiar to Leaf fans – Leo Komarov. Our beloved Finnish grinder is doing a bit of everything in the KHL, including throwing opponents off their game. In last night’s 5:0 trashing of Medvescak, he managed to get Hugh Jessiman thrown out of the game on a major penalty for spearing; the former Rangers prospect completely lost his mind…

‘Yeah, you know, they’re supposed to know who I am and everything, it was a little stupid of him, I just did my job’, said Komarov who leads the team with 28 points in 36 games. After some quick words about the game, KHL.hr’s Danijel Jelenek and yours truly talked to Leo about his NHL journey both prior and after the game against Zagreb’s Bears.

You played very well for the Leafs last season. Do you see yourself coming back next year?

‘Yeah, I’m trying to get back to the NHL and I hope some team will pick me up. But it was my decision to leave (the NHL) too, we’ll see if it turns out to be a good decision or not.’

Did you leave because you wanted top six minutes?

‘No no no, I’m not that kind of a player, everything was good with the Leafs and I really enjoyed it there. But I didn’t get the offer I maybe wanted, and I wanted to play a lot of minutes over here (in the KHL) because it’s an Olympic year and I knew that if I came back to Dynamo I’d get a lot of ice time. It’s hard to say really, I liked the team, the city, everything – coming back (to Russia) was a hard decision.’

If you do end up returning to the NHL, would you like it to be with the Leafs?

‘Oh yeah, I enjoyed it there, it was probably the best time of my life. I was really happy to play with the Leafs and I hope they are going to take me back, but you never know what’s going to happen. They hold my rights until July and I would love to get an offer from the Leafs.’

What was your favorite goal in a Leafs jersey?

‘The first one against the Montreal. I’ll remember that whole my life.’

Do you still watch them this season?

‘Yeah, I follow them really closely.’

You can find the full interview with some more really great Leafs content over at KHL.hr, your source for glorious Finnish pests and news about the Kontinental league. In all honesty, we quite enjoyed talking to Leo, who seemed as much as a fan of the Leafs as the two editors conducting the interview or anyone here at the Hot Stove. Personally, I do feel this team misses Komarov and, as you can read in the rest of our interview, he misses Toronto.

SHARE
Previous articleGame in 10: Game #40, Leafs 4 vs. Sabres 3 (SO)
Next articleLeafs Prospect Update (December 28): World Junior Edition
Hi there, I'm Mislav, a hockey writer from Croatia. My weird hockey journey includes the Maple Leafs Hot Stove, covering the Kontinental Hockey League as a Managing Editor at KHL.hr and doing a piece for the Hockey News that one time. This is me on hockey and stuff in between. Enjoy your stay!
  • Ryan

    For what its worth i would sign him for 3.5 to 4 mil because of the tangibles he brings to the game

  • Ryan

    Him with Clarkson Bolland would be crazy

  • Burtonboy

    I would definetly be interested in having Leo back . Get him signed Nonis

  • Ryan

    TheCanucksnaphook 
    Might be. But with the cap rising fair value

  • Cameron19

    @Ryan TheCanucksnaphook 2M, tops.

  • Burtonboy

    TheCanucksnaphook Burtonboy I would have Leo back in a heartbeat

  • rustynail

    Burtonboy TheCanucksnaphook It is obvious how much we miss him. Get your power back on yet?

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Burtonboy The same one the Red Wings have been sending consistently on route to 20+ consecutive playoff berths…?

  • rustynail

    TheCanucksnaphook Burtonboy That the best players play?

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 Even with Komarov, they’ll all get to play.  Injuries will always allow for tons of call-ups.  All of those guys mentioned have a lot to learn in the AHL yet anyways.

  • Burtonboy

    rustynail Burtonboy TheCanucksnaphook Yeah we were out for close to 3 days . Still kinda tenuous though . More snow or wind could knock it down real fast

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook rustynail I think you just really undervalue how consistent his hitting was, and how much that powered the rest of the team to see it done that way.  No one is remembering anything about him other than the impact he had on the rest of the roster.

  • Ryan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swDVb-BDPyM

    video on Komarov this year

  • Ryan

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook rustynail 
    put it this way i wish the leafs would have signed him than Clarkson. I feel they brought Clarkson in to do what Komarov did

  • Cameron19

    @Ryan Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook rustynail Well, no, they brought Clarkson in to do more, it’s just that he’s wound up in the same role, and not doing as good a job.

  • Ryan

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook rustynail 
    Komarov was unflappable and brought so much to this team

  • Cameron19

    @Ryan Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook rustynail Riled Kadri up, got under the opposition’s skin every night, and set an example for the hitting the rest of the guys needed to bring. Limited offense, but solid defensively.

  • Burtonboy

    If you do end up returning to the NHL, would you like it to be with the Leafs?
    ‘Oh yeah, I enjoyed it there, it was probably the best time of my life. I was really happy to play with the Leafs and I hope they are going to take me back, but you never know what’s going to happen. They hold my rights until July and I would love to get an offer from the Leafs.’

  • Ryan

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook rustynail 
    Thing is he is a leading scorer in the KHL I’m sure he would pot more with a bigger role.

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 Biggs isn’t a little energizer though. He makes big hits every now and then – not consistently. And when he does it, it’s expected, because he’s a monster. When the guys see Komarov doing it, it makes a bigger impact on them, because he doesn’t look like the type who would play that way. Guys like him have a mental impact on the roster. Gallagher is doing this for the Habs, and yes, obviously he has more offense, but that’s not his biggest contribution to that roster…

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook You need to shift your perspective a little on this one though. Our management fucked up the money and didn’t leave enough on the table because of their own stupidity. And even then, I think the bigger reason was the Olympics.

  • Ryan

    Burtonboy 
    Can’t blame a guy to try and make the Finnish Olympic team. Everyone’s dream is to be in the Olympics

  • Cameron19

    @Ryan Burtonboy Everyone not born in Canada.

  • Ryan

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook 

    Can’t blame the guy

  • Irishfanman

    -Keon- that would be painu helvettiin

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook Komarov has no finish—or at least he didn’t on the Leafs. Had a lot of chances at getting more points/goals and wasn’t able to finish his chances.

  • Cameron19

    DeclanK Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook Who cares though? I see him as a 4th liner, PK man, who can move around the roster to jump start lines. I wouldn’t be counting on him to put up points.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    @Ryan Oh goody, more intangibles.

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook DeclanK Cameron19 You think Mr. 2 goals on the season Biggs is going to be finishing chances in the NHL next year?

  • rustynail

    ingy56 except he brings them every night :)

  • Ryan

    DeclanK Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook 
    You think paying Clarkson at 5.5 mil is a better option ?

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590/status/416962811047448577
    As expected Tyler Bozak has returned to practicing on the top line. Should return tomorrow

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590/status/416964427825823744
    Leafs lines Saturday practice: JVR-Bozak-Kessel, Raymond-Kadri-Lupul, Kulemin-McClement-Clarkson, D’Amigo-Holland-Orr-McLaren-

  • Cameron19

    Burtonboy I like that 4th line.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    rustynail ingy56 Absolutely, can’t argue that. Just getting tired of quoting intangibles as an excuse for lack of results.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cameron19 Burtonboy Can’t play Orr, he never fights. Give them another winger and play that line 9-10 mins.

  • Burtonboy

    Cameron19 Burtonboy Call up Ashton to go with D’Amigo and Holland

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Burtonboy Cameron19 D’Amigo-Holland-Ashton would be a very good line. 3 players that have all been playing well (Ashton has 9 goals in 11/12 games right now on the Marlies?). Can’t understand how Ashton was sent down. Mind boggling.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    TheCanucksnaphook Short-handed too I believe.

  • Ryan

    DeclanK Burtonboy Cameron19 
    His face needed a break i’m assuming from the drummings he was getting ?

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    #FREELEO

  • Cameron19

    Alec Brownscombe Cameron19 Burtonboy Yea, but it’s still a step in the right direction for Randy.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ KingKadri

    No doubt in my mind that Leo deserves an offer, at the very least! Otherwise its just poor asset management.

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 He might be in 3 years.

  • Burtonboy

    DeclanK Burtonboy Cameron19 Waiver eligible

  • Ryan

    Anyone have a stream of the Canada game ?

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Rielly is a high end draft pick who clearly has the talent to play in the NHL.  Biggs has struggled to do much of anything in the AHL. These are guys that only had success in Jr. during that last years there too – and they were behemoths, which is normally a gigantic advantage in those leagues. 

    It’s really only potential star caliber guys that get opportunities really young.  There aren’t many Biggs/Broll type guys on any rosters in the NHL right now.

  • RememberSalming

    DeclanK Burtonboy Cameron19 Or switch Holland and McClement and save McClement for PK duties.  Ashton over Orr.  Then you have a good 4th line!  This would make a solid lineup.

  • rustynail

    Burtonboy why the hell is Smithson still up?

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    rustynail Burtonboy Probably because Bozak doesn’t come off IR until tomorrow.