The Wizard of Oz era in Toronto has come to an end. Defenceman Igor Ozhiganov will reportedly return to the KHL next season.
Small piece of news to report: Igor Ozhiganov won’t be back with the Leafs next season. He’s decided to return to the KHL.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) May 6, 2019
Ozhiganov inked a one-year deal with the Leafs last summer that featured a base salary of $925,000 and possible performance bonuses maxing out at $850,000. He would play 53 games during the regular season for the Leafs but didn’t get into any action during the playoffs. His role on the team disappeared after the team acquired Jake Muzzin to shore up the right side of the blueline.
It isn’t really all that surprising Ozhiganov is returning to the KHL. He didn’t show enough at the NHL level last year to warrant being more than a No. 6 or 7 defenceman and he can certainly make more money as a top defender in Russia. Before he signed with the Leafs, Ozhignaov spent three years as one of the top defencemen on a very good CSKA Moscow club.
Thank you for your service, Oz.