Brad Treliving made the right call by playing hardball with Ilya Samsonov

Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
11 months ago
It’s official: Brad Treliving isn’t messing around.
Considering how rare it is for an arbitration case to actually get in front of an arbitrator in this day and age, it’s quite clear that Toronto’s new general manager isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to contract negotiations.
And not to beat a dead horse but that wasn’t really something the previous GM was known for. At the very least, this sets a tone and precedence for what’s to come with this organization.
Undoubtedly, there’s certainly an element of risk for the Leafs by letting this get in front of an arbitrator. That said, considering Samsonov’s small sample size of brilliance, I think it’s a fair and calculated one. For my money, there’s no way the arbitrator rules overwhelming in favour of the player in this scenario. And quite honestly, I think the Leafs know that, and that’s why they decided to follow through with this.
By electing to go this route, Samsonov is only eligible to be awarded a one-year deal, which will put him in line to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. To be honest, I think both parties are fine with that, too. The Leafs want to see it again before committing long term and the Samsonov camp – just like everyone else – wants to get paid. If he has another strong season, he’ll put himself in line for a monster pay day —whether it be with Toronto or someone else. At the very least, the Leafs will be getting a highly motivated goalie for a second straight season. Cloudy future aside, that’s never a bad thing.
Getting back to Treliving. I think his stern approach with Samsonov was an important one, especially when you consider who else he’s attempting to solidify a deal with right now. He has a price in mind, and at least in this case, he wasn’t willing to budge.

Check out these posts...