Often seen as a grinder or a power forward in his first two years with the team, Leo Komarov has seen himself (surprisingly?) be the team’s joint leading scorer heading into the Christmas break, with 12 goals and 12 assists so far.
As Komarov is currently on year two of a four-year, $2.95 million per year contract, talks have been heating up recently that maybe- just maybe- trading Komarov might actually be what’s best for this Leafs future.
There are many differing opinions, but they all boil down to about four main arguments:
- Option 1: Trade him, but only if you feel like you’re overselling and clearly win the trade
- Option 2: Trade him for the best deal you can get, his value you will never be higher
- Option 3: Don’t trade him, he’ll be of value to the team in the future
- Option 4: Don’t trade him, his worth is more than just his on-ice performance
As I’m not an insider, I’m not going to pretend to make up plausible trade proposals from Komarov, It’s hard to gauge exactly what his market value is, and what would then be considered overpaying for the newly-crowned star.
However, let’s do a quick walkthrough of the options before letting you delve into your commentary below.
This is the dream for any GM, right? However, it’s obviously easier said than done. Finding both a) a suitable trading partner and b) one who’s willing to part with an asset that could be deemed as a key to success in the future seems like a tall older.
This is perhaps the most sensible option, but not the ideal one. Komarov’s trade value is likely to never be higher- he’s turning 29 in a month, and has enough term left on a contract to contribute at a relatively fair wage without being kept down long term. In two years, the Leafs won’t be a legitimate threat in the league- barring a major surprise- and by the time they do get to that stage, well, there’s a reason you don’t see many Cup-winning teams carrying around aging vets who aren’t still at the top of their game. However, this option hurts. Frankly, Komarov’s fun to watch- fun to cheer for- and just fun to have around. Trading Komarov wouldn’t be ideal- but if trading him now can help contribute to results in a season where the team is more competitive, it may be an unfortunate reality.
Perhaps Komarov’s career is destined to be one where he stays in Toronto. Komarov may in fact be a great guy to have, but Toronto has seen its fair share of problems looking to keep players solely for their character and leadership values.
Similar to Option 3, this is the hardest argument I’ve always found. There are always other role models to be found, and a winning team- truthfully- should have more than one guy to look up to. However, it may be true that the Leafs management team could regret selling Komarov in a trade with no huge upside- after all, he’s been a fan favourite and seemingly universally loved among his teammates. Komarov and Nylander celebrating goals together? Well that’s just the best story I’ve heard of an Estonian-born Finn and a Canadian-born Swede today.
A fifth option would be to wait to see what kind of offers come in and evaluate then whether Leo’s worth keeping or not, but that almost seems too reasonable to make sense.
What do you think? What would you do about Leo Komarov?