Leo Komarov set to return to the NHL

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Leo Komarov will not take up a contract option with Dynamo in the KHL and appears certain to return to the NHL next season. Leafs fans have been tracking him all year since his return to the KHL as Leo has worn Leafs apparel against his team’s wishes and told KHL news outlets he would love to return to Toronto.

Leafs fans love Komarov and want their favorite polyglot pest back on the team, but where it gets tricky of course is Dave Nonis’ job of setting aside emotional ties to the player and trying to arrive at fair value with a contract offer. Something Nonis attempted to do after the 2012-13 season, but for a collection of reasons – salary, needing to play an offensive role in the KHL to make Team Finland for Sochi – he returned to the KHL.

Komarov posted 9 points in 42 games in 2012-13 while playing just under 14 minutes a game (third line role). That’s a 17 point pace over 80 games, but there might be a little more to give here based on his KHL track record and the fact that it was just his first 40-odd games in the NHL. You also wonder if Komarov could potentially ride shotgun on a skilled line, because a duo such as Kadri and Lupul, if both still here, could use some jam – and Komarov’s ability to take a faceoff – on the other wing, where Kulemin might not be back season (Leo seems like the type who could get Kadri fired up if he played on his line again). Komarov also played 1:48 a game on the PK, which at the time was among the best in the League.

What was most valuable about Komarov was his ability to set the tone for his line in the bottom six. There were no easy minutes with him on the ice, which is an element the “easiest team to play against” last season could certainly use among their forward group. He brings a measure of versatility (can play C) and defensive responsibility to whatever line he might play on.

Where do we place him, salary wise? Nonis lowballed him as an RFA, according to some reports, and he’s now a UFA who can poke around the market some on July 1. It’s a tough call as Komarov is a bit of a unique case.

Hump Day Links:

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    COME BACK LEO!!!!

  • mirtle

    I’m really not sure they can afford him. Be surprised if he gets anything less than $2-million.

  • Jordan29

    mirtle  Prepare to be surprised my friend

  • Jordan29

    mirtle  3-4 line checking winger who plays PK. Thats what he is and will be paid like IMO

  • MaxwellHowe

    Thank you Alec.
    $2.5 million for 5 years.  Trade Lupul and give Leo the second line spot.  if I seem crazy its because I looked at Randy’s smiling face for 4 days

  • dannyjpdaye

    LeafsNews I would love to have him back…sucked the way he left…but we need his kind of grit and drive.

  • Burtonboy

    Anyone think he’s worth Prust money ?

  • LeafsGuru

    lets hope a Seattle gets a  expansion team and we don’t protect Clarkson (wishful thinking) give us some cap space hehe

  • rustynail

    Just sign Leo

  • Reether

    mirtle  He would be worth it for his overall contribution.

  • deedrag

    Thx for the article Alec. It’s getting crazy around here.

  • rustynail

    mirtle  on this team he is

  • Burtonboy

    Jordan29 mirtle  Prust get 2.5 . I think he’s better then Prust

  • rustynail

    Burtonboy Jordan29 mirtle  Prust had better offensive year than Leo though before he was signed

  • Anthony Petrielli

    mirtle  Will they reunite him with Kadri though? Bound to produce reasonably if so.

  • Burtonboy

    rustynail Burtonboy Jordan29 mirtle  1 yr where he had 13 goals and 29 pts .

  • Alec Brownscombe

    deedrag  Did it ever stop being crazy?

  • Jordan29

    I dont care if you have to use a gun, make it happen Shanahan

    James Van Riemsdyk ($4.250m) / Ryan O’Reilly ($6.500m) / Phil Kessel ($8.000m) 
    Joffrey Lupul ($5.250m) / Tyler Bozak ($4.200m) / Nazem Kadri ($2.900m) 
    Josh Leivo ($0.793m) / Dave Bolland ($4.250m) / David Clarkson ($5.250m) 
    David Broll ($0.591m) / Leo Komarov ($1.750m) / Carter Ashton ($0.700m) 
    Jerry D’Amigo ($0.700m) / 
    DEFENSEMEN
    Dion Phaneuf ($7.000m) / Mark Giordano ($4.020m) 
    Jake Gardiner ($2.250m) / Morgan Rielly ($0.894m) 
    Carl Gunnarsson ($3.150m) / Petter Granberg ($0.800m) 
    Andrew MacWilliam ($0.875m) / 
    GOALTENDERS
    Jonathan Bernier ($2.900m) 
    Drew MacIntyre ($0.850m) 
    BUYOUTS
    Mike Komisarek ($0.000m) 
    Mikhail Grabovski ($0.000m) 
    Tim Gleason ($0.833m) 
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $68,705,833; BONUSES: $1,295,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $2,394,167

  • deedrag

    Ok, now let’s start a chant. LEO! LEO! LEO! Anyone notice his first name means LION?

  • MaxwellHowe

    mirtle Are offensive contributions a problem for the Leafs?  Defensive contributions are a problem for the Leafs.

  • dlb yeh

    mirtle
    i enjoyed your interview with Gordon.  please do more of those.  good insight.  ask the good questions.

  • rustynail

    Burtonboy  he can have Clarkson’s money :)

  • rustynail

    Anthony Petrielli mirtle  room with Kadri too and get back Nasty Naz

  • http://www.unclejakescards.ca/ unclejakescards

    at the rate nono has been goin hes more likely to trade leo’s rights at the draft for a bag of pucks …i just dont see nono offering anywhere near 2.5 ..

  • Jordan29

    Alec Brownscombe deedrag  aaaa no sir

  • deedrag

    Alec Brownscombe deedrag Look down and you’ll get the answer?

  • charlieb83

    MaxwellHowe Hahahahahahahahaha!!!

    That deserved more than just a “Like”

  • dlb yeh

    Jordan29
    where’s bloody Hartikainen?

  • Anthony Petrielli

    rustynail Anthony Petrielli mirtle  At least Komarov is versatile and can move up and down the line-up. Can play all 3 forward positions too.

  • rustynail

    Anthony Petrielli rustynail mirtle  we definitely could have used him last season

  • ProfessorRance

    Jordan29  Replace Lupul with Kane somehow, then sign Johnson or Elliot and let Bolland walk and  I am sold sold sold.

  • ProfessorRance

    rustynail  Put a C on his jersey while we are at it as well.

  • Burtonboy

    rustynail Anthony Petrielli mirtle  Badly . He’s the straw that stirs the drink as far as I’m concerned

  • dlb yeh

    rustynail
    also, don’t underestimate what a team would pay for a guy who can play AND fight
    what an idiot though

  • rustynail

    ProfessorRance rustynail  we could worse

  • ProfessorRance

    rustynail ProfessorRance  It would provide the young guys someone to look up to and would lead by example. Be cool to have a captain that can speak in more than two languages lol.

  • DWCMLHS

    D’Amigo – Komarov – Ashton. That’s a real 4th line.

  • Mcost61

    DWCMLHS

    What’s a 4th line?

  • dlb yeh

    Mcost61
    not that 😉

  • Burtonboy

    DWCMLHS  Komarov – Bolland – Clarkson 3rd line

  • dlb yeh

    Burtonboy
    Komarov-Fiddler-Hartikainen

  • ProfessorRance

    Mcost61 DWCMLHS  Komarov can take faceoffs now

  • Burtonboy

    dlb yeh Burtonboy  Don’t give a fiddlers fuck for that line :)

  • dlb yeh

    Burtonboy
    D’Amigo-Bolland-Clarkson

  • ProfessorRance

    dlb yeh Burtonboy  Komarov-Boyle-Hartikainen

  • dlb yeh

    Burtonboy
    Fiddler’s a rugged pain in the ass  … i like him every time i see him play

  • Great Dane

    mirtle Komorov is a pest – just ask in the KHL. The other teams hated playing against Komorov.

    The Leafs certainly could use that and as far as I am concerned 2 million is only the money that was spend on Orr and McLaren.

  • dlb yeh

    ProfessorRance
    Boyle might be too rich

  • DWCMLHS

    Rather use young wingers like D’Amigo and Ashton than bring him in.

  • Burtonboy

    dlb yeh ProfessorRance  Boyle ain’t leaving NY