Last week it was reported that the most ethnically ambiguous Toronto Maple Leaf Leo Komarov was going to jump ship in the AHL and head back to his KHL club. This isn’t a huge surprise, as our Russian friend Andrey translated some quotes over the summer pertaining to Komarov, he was willing to leave Canada if he didn’t have an NHL job by November.
As it happened, November came and Komarov, for reasons outside his own ability doesn’t have an NHL job. It’s not so much taking his ball and going home, as Komarov was careful to craft a contract that would allow him to return to North America and play in the NHL if the labour situation was to resolve itself.
The Toronto Marlies announced Tuesday forward Leo Komarov has been loaned to Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). As per club policy, terms of the agreement will not be released.
Komarov, a former sixth round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, joined the Marlies at the start of the 2012-13 regular season and has registered nine points (6 goals, 3 assists) along with 22 penalty minutes in 14 games.
Prior to joining the Maple Leafs organization, Komarov played three seasons in the KHL for Dynamo Moscow, recording 66 points (30 goals, 36 assists) and 172 penalty minutes in 145 games.
Calling it a “loan” is appropriate. This was Andrey’s tweet from three days ago:
Just talked to Komarov. He wants an out-clause in his contract with Dynamo in case the lockout ends. They say no. He’s still in TO. #Leafs
— Andrey Osadchenko (@AOsadchenko) November 18, 2012
Turns out that Mr. Osadchenko is probably the guy to trust pertaining to matters involving players with Russian ties in this continent. I like the way that they’ve strucured the deal. Per Mirtle:
Told Komarov will be able to return to Toronto if/when the lockout ends. Expect him at Leafs training camp, in other words.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) November 20, 2012
This clears up a regular forward spot on the Marlies. My own selfish agenda would dictate Dallas Eakins could give more minutes to former Portland Winterhawk Brad Ross, who I thought had some NHL potential after watching him play on several occasions last season. Komarov had been playing on a line with Nazem Kadri and Keith Aucoin, but Eakins has jumbled the lines this season. The Marlies will keep on keeping on, but they’ll do so without one of their top goal scorers. I do expect Komarov to be in the mix when the NHL comes back and the Maple Leafs are in training camp, and we’ll see if Komarov has the patience to withstand more AHL games if it means he’s a little closer to the National Hockey League.