Reports have emerged that suggest the Toronto Maple Leafs are set to lose Leo Komarov when free agency opens this Sunday.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period has tweeted that Leo Komarov is in talks with the New York Rangers, with the two sides close to agreeing a multi-year deal that would end his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The big-bodied Finn has had an up-and-down career in the NHL, after being drafted by the Leafs in the sixth round (180th overall) in 2006.
It took him six years since being drafted to make his way over to Toronto, originally playing for the Marlies in the AHL before featuring 42 times during the 2012-13 NHL season for the Leafs.
More from Toronto Maple Leafs
- Maple Leafs Rumours: Half of NHL teams interested in Ilya Mikheyev
- Toronto Maple Leafs: How to address the goaltender position
- Leafs reward Timothy Liljegren with extension after breakout season
- Maple Leafs: Jack Campbell situation becoming increasingly uncertain
- Jason Spezza retires, joins Toronto Maple Leafs front office
He had four goals and nine total points in that 42-game stretch and returned to the KHL the very next season, putting up far better numbers.
Since 2014, Komarov has been a regular for the Leafs and has been counted on often on the team’s checking line.
He has 122 points (52 goals and 70 assists) in 327 regular season games in his NHL career and has been a popular figure in the Leafs organisation.
Head coach Mike Babcock saw enough of the two-time KHL champion to give him the coveted Alternate Captain’s ‘A’ for the past three seasons.
His presence will no doubt be missed within the Leafs organisation, but his most recent cap hit of $2.95 million has been too high compared to his offensive production.
With the Leafs looking to make a splash in free agency this summer, and some extremely important contracts yet to be negotiated, the team needs to retain as much cap space as possible heading into July 1st.
With the team still squarely in the mix for John Tavares, deciding whether to pay out for a winger such as Komarov has become more of a business decision rather than one ruled by emotions.
What do you think Toronto Maple Leafs fans? Will you be sad to see Komarov go? Or are you happy for the team move on? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!