When Leo Komarov left the Leafs at the end of the 2012/13 season, I was upset. He was the type of player I loved watching the most, from an entertainment perspective. By that, I mean, he was a jerk and a half. But he was Toronto’s jerk and a half. He was Toronto’s friendly, weird talking creature from a far away land, who just happened to irritate anything that wasn’t in blue and white. Leo Komarov was Toronto’s Alf. But he left. But now he’s back! Maybe not in pog form, but he’s back.
There are two last seasons for Komarov. First off, we have his last season in the NHL, which was in fact two seasons ago. In that time, Komarov played as a shutdown forward with a rotation of players, ultimately settling with Jay McClement and Colton Orr in the playoffs. He finished the season with four goals and five assists in forty two games and was completely shut out in terms of production in the playoffs.
Komarov’s specialty was causing trouble; despite missing six games, Komarov finished fifth in the NHL in hits that season, and was one of the best in the league at drawing penalties. His annoying style of play lead to lots of retaliation, and the fact that he can chirp in five languages definitely encouraged matters.
Last season, Leo spent his time with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL, though you can argue that his heart was still here. On a mission to prove his NHL worth and make team Finland for the Sochi Olympics, Komarov switched over to a scoring role, and ended uploading his team in points, notching 12 goals and 22 assists in 52 games, and adding three goals and an assist in seven playoff games. Komarov ended up playing in three tournaments for the Finnish national team that season, earning 4 points in 9 games in the European Tour, going pointless in a checking role during the Olympics, and adding three more points in the World Championships.
It’s hard to say where exactly Komarov will end up this year. He’s looked very good so far this preseason, forechecking with urgency and getting pucks towards the net. There’s a right wing spot available on the second line, and though logic would imply that David Clarkson will get first crack at it, it’s not completely unfathomable that Komarov could draw in if he impresses in the next week and a bit.
Realistically, though, he’ll probably be a winger on the third line, and get time on the Penalty Kill, along with being the first reserve option to add to the powerplay unit in case of injury.
Unless your league counts hits, Komarov has no value to you. He’s going to be a fun player to watch for the Leafs, but I highly doubt that turns into helping in most leagues, particularly ones that are 16 teams or less. Simply, you have better options, that you can find out about on our sister website, DailyFaceoff.com!
We almost lost Komarov to a Zamboni during the World Championships.
A montage video with a surprisingly good variety of clips – a healthy blend of Marlies, Leafs, Moscow, and Finland.