Leo’s Back: Maple Leafs sign Komarov to 4-year, $11.8 million contract

Leo’s Back: Maple Leafs sign Komarov to 4-year, $11.8 million contract

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It’s hard not to get excited about the return of a fan favorite like Leo Komarov.

Whether it was perceived or real, fans certainly felt he was a big piece of what made the team harder to play against in his short stay during the lockout-shortened year.

He came in at a steeper price tag than expected at $2.95 million per season, given his nine points in 45 games in his limited sample of NHL games.

Komarov always has been more of an offensive player in the KHL, where he’s been around a .60PPG player for Dynamo. Perhaps there’s more to give here considering 45 games isn’t a tonne of time to get acclimated to a new League. He has a good shot and loves getting his nose dirty, but has pretty limited hands.

Komarov’s ability to kill penalties (can also take draws capably) should help provide multi-situation value during his time here. One of their key penalty killers, UFA Jay McClement, appears to not be coming back.

Komarov’s natural fit appears to be as a third line winger but he might be versatile enough to move onto the wing of Kadri and Lupul and bring that consistent, chippy forechecking presence to a scoring line.

The haul so far for Dave Nonis and co. is Matt Frattin, Stephane Robidas and Leo Komarov. Leafs management will still be looking to find a checking line center today, one imagines.

Welcome back Leo.

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]