Leo Komarov left the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo after the 2011-12 season to pursue his goal of playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As you no doubt guessed, the lockout has temporarily robbed Komarov of the chance to compete for an NHL roster spot, so after 11 games with the AHL Toronto Marlies, he wants to head back to the KHL, according to a Globe and Mail report.
It’s not quite that simple though. Komarov also wants to make sure he can return to North America when the lockout ends before leaving for Europe, so for now he’s still a member of the Marlies.
Komarov cautioned that nothing is certain, but they are working on his contract, according to Andrey Osadchenko.
“Would I like him to stay, absolutely, but these are decisions that are hard for a player and his family and I respect those decisions,” said Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins. “(But) we have a massive group of forwards so for him to go back he can continue his development and it opens up a hole in our line up for someone else to play.”
Leaving would also present Komarov with a special opportunity, given the number of NHL superstars that are playing with KHL clubs during the lockout. On top of that, Komarov would get to play on the same team as Alex Ovechkin if he returned to Moscow Dynamo.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.