SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 25: Leo Komarov #47 of the Toronto Maple Leafs is congratulated by teammates after scoring a first-period goal against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on April 25, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida.

Leo Komarov wants to return to NHL next season

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Leo Komarov will get the opportunity to play against NHLers while representing Team Finland in the 2014 Winter Games. He just hopes he won’t have to wait too long before it happens again.

Komarov spent the shortened campaign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring four goals and nine points in 42 contests while averaging 14:56 minutes per game.

He ultimately decided to return to the KHL for 2013-14, both because it was the better option financially and it presented him with an opportunity to play in a bigger role ahead of the Olympics. The 27-year-old forward has made the most of that extra ice time by recording a career-high 31 points in 48 contests. Going forward though, he wants to return to North America.

“It’s a big goal for me for next season,” Komarov said, according to TSN. “[But] I’m going to see how it’s going to work out. Dynamo is playing pretty good right now so it’s like everything is good there too, but I really enjoyed it in Toronto. It was really good.”

Komarov will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so while he is interested in returning to Toronto after they drafted him in 2006, he’s also open to signing with other NHL clubs.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.