Toronto Maple Leafs place goaltender Ilya Samsonov on waivers

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Hobson
6 months ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed goaltender Ilya Samsonov on waivers after his fourth straight game allowing four goals or more. 
It’s been a brutal fall from grace for the Russian netminder, who finished top-ten in both save percentage (SV%) and goals-against average (GAA) among eligible NHL goaltenders in 2022-23 and backstopped the Maple Leafs to their first playoff series win since 2004. 
Samsonov was the bright spot in the Leafs’ crease last season, entering the year on a one-year, $1.8 million contract after the Washington Capitals elected not to tender him an offer. He finished the season with a record of 27-10-5, complemented by a 2.27 GAA and a .919 SV%. He went to arbitration with the Maple Leafs in the 2023 offseason, with the two sides settling on a one-year, $3.5 million deal. 

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The former first-round pick’s start to the season has been arguably the most disastrous in recent memory, which is shocking considering the Petr Mrazek and Jack Campbell situation from only a few years ago. The Leafs have been able to salvage points in many of the games he’s started, with a record of 5-2-6 under his name, but he’s done himself no favours with a .862 SV% and a 3.94 GAA in 15 games.
The Maple Leafs are fortunate that veteran Martin Jones has been able to keep them above water in his starts, with a 4-3-0 record backed up by a .915 SV% and a 2.73 GAA. No corresponding roster moves have been announced as of now, although Newfoundland Growlers goaltender Luke Cavallin was recalled to the Toronto Marlies earlier today, so it’s possible the Leafs could recall either Marlies netminder Keith Petruzzelli or highly-touted prospect Dennis Hildeby under Joseph Woll is healthy. 
It was recently reported that the Maple Leafs were believed to be “unenthusiastic” to make a trade between the pipes. 
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