A report from Sportsnet.ca suggests that gritty hit-machine Leo Komarov is considering a return to the NHL – but probably not with the Leafs.
“I have not finished [in] the NHL. I want to go back there. After this season, I’m a free agent,” he said told sovsport.ru.
Apparently Komarov did not leave the Maple Leafs on good terms as he continued: “There were serious differences on the contract. The club has not fulfilled the conditions that I had requested.”
If Komarov does report back to the NHL then it will almost certainly not be the club that drafted him 180th overall in 2006. Whilst Komarov led the league in hits for much the season and often terrorised defensemen in their own end, his game was arguably one-dimensional in the extreme.
He frequently took bad penalties and a picture is emerging of a Toronto club that baulked at whatever demands Komarov was making towards the end of last season. Whilst occasionally an effective pest, he was not, as some hoped, the second coming of Darcy Tucker.
Any clubs looking for outright sandpaper might like to take a run at the 26-year-old next year, despite his low offensive production. Given the outright stupidity which still occurs during NHL free agency (Ryan Clowe, five years at $24 million anyone?), testing the market after he finishes in the KHL probably isn’t the worst idea.