Leo Komarov set to return to the NHL

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.

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
299 comments
Bring the Cup Home
Bring the Cup Home

best thing we could do is sign komorov and get rid of clarkson. 

FrankFerrant
FrankFerrant

I like the idea of playing Komarov with Kadri, I think it makes perfect sense. Kadri's skill would help elevate Komarov's lacklustre offensive numbers, Komarovs physical play will help Kadri get into games physically. They would also draw a high number of penalties, in theory at least. Hope this happens!

HeatherRickAkin
HeatherRickAkin

Wonder why Komorov would opt to come back to Tranna, if in fact Nonis lowballed him. Other teams are also looking for forwards with jam ...eg Pittsburgh . If this becomes even a small bidding war , he is likely going elsewhere . Almost all players will say ...I loved it there ...or,  ...great bunch of guys...because they don't want to burn bridges.  Chances of Leo being a Leaf in October are LESS than Phaneuf being a Leaf in October.  I think Dion is a goner, and Leo is too .    

mlclearwater
mlclearwater

Well this management team is sticking with the young and youngish talent we have assembled and pressuring them to look within to win and not rely on blowing up the team, firing the coach or trading the captain. Frankly, I kinda like it. We are young, have good young players outside the NHL and have winners in front office jobs right down to the coach. 

As frustrating as this team has been, I like the reduced knee jerk reactions and putting the onus on the players to continually improve individually and as a team. Fuck I hate that i'm a leaf fan and trained to eventually find the silver lining

vinoa
vinoa

To the poster with the Marlies tickets: thanks so much. Gonna check the game out with a buddy of mine. Go Marlies Go!

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

There seems to be a rift in Leaf management. Shanahan praising Phaneuf and dead silence about Phaneuf from Carlyle and Nonis.

drummond
drummond

You can not deny that Dion works his butt off, which is not always the case with Lups, Kadri and some others.

Bruffins
Bruffins

@wiski

I know we both agreed not to discuss Dion but I would just like to apologize for this troubling news today haha

drummond
drummond

Leadershop does not need to come from the guys wearing C or A. Look at St. Louis in New York and his speech.

DWCMLHS
DWCMLHS

A: There's no actual evidence to suggest Phaneuf isn't a good leader. There is, however, evidence to suggest he is - his being named captain in the first place, and quickly, at that.

B: Who wears the "C" doesn't actually matter much, anyways. Leaders will emerge in the room, regardless of which players wear letters. Stripping a player's letter would, however, bring about a media-created distraction.

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

I want the small Hab forwards to show that speed and determination can win over physical tall forwards who are slow and dumb like the Bruins.

.JVR.
.JVR.

@FrankFerrant  

Which would also allow Clarkson to play with Bolland (if he resigns), where he actually looked half decent.

Fish Head
Fish Head

@HeatherRickAkin Need to put a reasonable offer on the table before he goes to free agency so we don't partake in a bidding war. I would put $2M/yr for 3-4 years in front of him.

Luke_R
Luke_R

@HeatherRickAkin  Dont say that. If this ship is gonna burn like it appears, I want leo in the thick of it ATLEAST to make it entertaining for me

djamon
djamon

@HeatherRickAkin  There won't be a bidding war for Leo. He's pretty media savvy, so I'm sure we'll hear about one though.

mlclearwater
mlclearwater

We've been shopping everyone for years, i'll believe it when I see it. Yes there are some flaws and improvements that NEED to be made. Building a winner isn't easy and isnt quick. I know i'm drinking the kool aide a little here but the fact is we have some great pieces to the puzzle and we are sure as fuck better off than we were the last couple of years. all imo

djamon
djamon

@mlclearwater  It only took you a month. Sticking with the same coach and leadership group and expecting different results is insane, IMO. We;ll be lamenting another lost year next April.

Murph2417
Murph2417

@mr_hanie  Guessing by how much Carlyle relied on Phaneuf he likes him, and the fact that Nonis extended him means he must like him a little bit.

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@mr_hanie  Nonis and Carlyle have not spoken about it . How in fuck did you come to this conclusion ? Or are you just guessing 

Bruffins
Bruffins

@mr_hanie  

Don't know about Nonis but I think Carlyle really likes Dion

Murph2417
Murph2417

@Burtonboy  But don't give us the quote so it seems worse than it is Rob, clever ass hole

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

@drummond I think people here hate St Louis, because he is small and Franophone name, thats whats a common theme here nowadays...

djamon
djamon

@Burtonboy  He just finished his 5th season as our Captain and he's still developing into a great Captain? You're either a great Captain or not. It doesn't take 6+ years, IMO.

djamon
djamon

@DWCMLHS  I agree...removing the C won't change the leadership dynamic of this team at all. Trading Dion however...

philthethrill
philthethrill

@mlclearwater `so wwhen were committing to a game plan that makes us give up 40 shots a game and the person incharge of that system doenst have any answers to reverse it u still think its ok?

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

@Burtonboy @mr_hanieJust guessing since Nonis does not say much, but Shanahan going out of his way in praising Dion....

djamon
djamon

@mr_hanie I lost respect for that guy with the way he behaved before the Olympics and how he bailed on his team in Tampa. He's a dick, IMO.

philthethrill
philthethrill

@mlclearwater @philthethrill all im saying the stlye of game the leafs play wont be chaning much if at all so if u really believe its 100% on the players I suggest u strap ur self in for a repeat of how thelast 14 games went

mlclearwater
mlclearwater

@philthethrill @mlclearwater  nope it isn't, we need to get better that's for sure. I'm not the debating type on this site, everyone is in bash the leafs and carlyle mode, that's fine. I'm not. These are my opinions, comment if you like or just move on to other ones.

Carlyle had arguably the least defensively capable d core in the league and the weakest centre's also. Hard to get a working defensive system imo. ALthough he certainly deserves lots of blame

djamon
djamon

@mr_hanie Duh...he'll move ANYONE for the right price and has said so many times.

Luke_R
Luke_R

@Burtonboy  he wants his tone setters and individuals with desire... aka no loafters.  Dedicated guys.  Anyone know (not guess) who hes talking about? Cause he wouldnt have said sucg otherwise

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@wiski @Burtonboy  If anyone  knows about shit like that its Shanahan . His record as a player proves that